I love our Black and Tan Coonhound, Leroy. He has a good relationship with everyone in our family – except for Mrs. Claws, our cat. She grew up with our former Bedlington terrier, Lance.
Weeks after Lance’s death, Mrs. Claws was unwilling to befriend our new big puppy. Two years later, at 75 pounds, and with no aggressive bone in his body, Leroy wants to play, but Mrs. Claws still hides on the lower level of our home.
We have used a lot of praise and affirmation to train Leroy. Daily, despite sometimes stinky ears and breath – he is greeted with “What a good dog!” or “Good boy!” And he lives up to this positive affirmation.
Sadly, many of us treat ourselves with less regard. We daily greet ourselves with internal messages that are the equivalent to “What bad girl!” or “Bad boy!”
Maybe other times we hide from our true value, much like Mrs. Claws hides from Leroy.
What if we take a cue from humans’ best interactions with pets?
- What if we choose to recognize our inherent value, even when we have accidents and make mistakes?
- What if we throw some positive regard our own way?
I expect Earth would still revolve around the Sun – and we might actually feel better. Leroy suggests that we give it a try.