Let me give you the background. I chose my Bella from the rescue because she looked independent and fiesty. She was 7 too so I figured that she might have got the ants in her fur out of her system and would sit calmly by my side.
Ms Bella has taken me on the adventure of chasing her chasing the kangaroos down the street. She got me in the private pond in the backyard bush land at 7am refusing to get out as I waded in after her and then proceeded to scale the barbed wire fence with her 20kg wet and shivering body on my back. She almost ripped open another dog (playfully?) that had already been ripped open by another dog (poor thing) as I ran lightening speed across the field to stop her.
This has all happened in the last 4 weeks and all because I thought she was mature enough to act her age and so I let her off the leash. Wrong.
So today I took her to obedience training in the park. We learned some basic tricks to start but here were some things I took from it myself.
- I must always be in control. I must decide what we're doing at each point in time at this juncture of training. She needs to know she has someone to follow. AKA - Vata must have a plan to stick to, when she knows her limits she feels more free to be herself.
- I must be consistent. Always on my left and give her treats so she has her head up. AKA small praises feed insecurity and promote motivation to keep consistent. Keep your to do tasks tiny.
- Not allow her to sniff another dog past their nose. If it turns ugly, don't berate but just move away. AKA to make changes we need to remember the positive and move on quickly from the negative so it doesn't remain as an impact on our mind state.
- Don't drag her, make a quick tug to move her in the right direction. AKA Vata moves quick and will jump on the right path quickly too, too much thinking leads to indecision just let it go and move on to avoid the ojas depleting activity of self anguish.
- If she's following anyways, don't tug but use voice and tapping my thigh to indicate. AKA - Vata is subtle and intuitive guidance will work on a more permanent basis that hard lessons.
She picked it up really well and it was assumed she had been trained before. What a change in her behaviour after just one lesson! And I tried it around the block at home and she followed my instructions. (note to self- must buy a shit load of treats and keep in all dog walking attire)
And here's the byline, I ended up starting a writing project I had been procrastinating on for the longest time. Writing is not a wild act, it's a methodical and consistent practise, like spirituality, probably like most things. Today I observed how the "reigning in" produced a calmer state of mind, for both of us.
I admit I did feel a little sense of delight at her bohemian approach to life when I waded through the pond to fetch her, but as I walked her home just now I almost sensed a pride in her achievement, chest raised, tail wagging. I think she might be ready for dog goddess school soon.