If you’ve read any Byron Katie, you might recognize the title of this blog post. And if you haven’t read Byron Katie, definitely check her out at www.theework.com –you can even do “The Work” on your dogs! But anyways, I just wanted to say a few words on dog training regarding progress, and the flipside of progress which might be loving what is, or Amor Fati.
Wherever we are right now, we can look at our dogs and see that they are perfect the way they are. It may sound sappy, but actually everything is perfect exactly the way it is.
Those of us who are perfectionists can often escape the present moment because things aren’t as they “should be,” when the reality is, that they are. The worst part about this addiction to everything being perfect, is that you don’t require any substance to get high, because it’s with you all the time: your mind! And it’s robbing you of the present moment.
So with all the confusion around training, and the worry about whether we’re doing it right, or why were not seeing “progress,” it’s good to take a break every once in a while and just enjoy our dogs. The way they are right now. Surely they bring us so much joy, we can appreciate them as much as we can “train” them.
My dogs aren’t “trained,” nor do I think there is such a thing. My dogs just are. They drive me absolutely batty, but if I wanted to tell the truth, I love it. I don’t want them to change. They will change, of course. But I love absolutely everything about them.
If you find yourself getting frustrated or stuck, try having a beginner’s mind. Experience your dog as if you don’t even know your dog. What do you see? What do you love about this dog that you just met?
In that spirit, I wanted to celebrate what fun it is to “work” with my dogs. Because for me it isn’t work, it is my passion.
Here’s a short video just to document where we are right now, with everything that Kevin has taught us so far: