Doing something new or making a new start is a scary concept to a lot of people. But if you watch your dogs, you can learn how to do it easily. Think back to when you first brought your dog home. Remember how quickly he adapted to all the changes. He maybe had one or more human packs before yours, and had to spend time in various strange and frightening places. However, once you brought him home, to yet another new and strange place, it probably wasn’t long before he started acting like he had been there a long time.
Dogs live in the moment, the present moment, which is why they have this ability. A dog doesn’t dwell on what happened in the past or what’s going to happen in the future. They are only focused on what’s happening right now. Humans do the opposite. We focus on either the past or the future and not the present. When you dwell on the past, you usually wind up living in regret. When you worry about the future, the result is frequently fear or anxiety. Dogs are rescued and fostered all the time and as long as they have a calm and firm pack leader, who doesn’t keep them in the past by feeling sorry or guilty for them, they will be fine no matter what happened to them in the past. Children, on the other hand, who are in foster care and possibly came from abusive situations, can be a whole different story. Humans have a hard time letting go of the past, so they can have trouble learning to trust their new family and new surroundings.
It’s hard for us to “not worry about the future,” but the key word here is “worry.” Worrying about what might happen just creates a great deal of anxiety and stress. For example, let’s say you have to give a big presentation in front of a hundred people. You’ve never spoken in front of that many people before. If you spend the week before, worrying about all the things that can go wrong, by the time you need to do your presentation, you’re going to be a nervous wreck. You’ll probably stumble, stutter and make mistakes. What you see in your mind can actually happen in reality. What you’re seeing in your mind is not real, but the feelings you feel are. That is what your dog is picking up on and feeding off of.
The only way that we can get from the present to the future is to constantly live and act in the moment. In the example above, instead of worrying about how the presentation is going to go, just practice doing it, over and over. Use your dogs as audience members, they’re good listeners. See in your mind the presentation going the way you ultimately want each time you practice it. Do this and by the time the big day arrives, you’ll have left worry and fear behind you. Live in the present. Learn from the past. Plan for the future.
I find this to be one of the best ways to stay calm and relaxed. Your dogs will thank you. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The future is our journey. The steps are all of the many “present moments” on the way there. Focus on the steps, and you’ll enjoy the journey a lot more.
Always remember: BP4 – Be: Patient, Positive, Peaceful & Persistent
If you continue to have problems, let me know if I can help.
www.packmantotherescue.com / 201-937-6123