Questions about dog behavior and training? Send them to:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Life Happens Between the Sneezes

Note: this is from my archives...but seemed appropriate in this season of hay fever!

Cesar Millan, "The Dog Whisperer," tells us over and over that dogs live "in the moment," implying that our dogs don't waste energy dwelling on "what ifs" and "if onlys" as people do. They don't stew about things that have already happened. They don't hold grudges. They don't ponder the future. Whatever is happening to them AT THIS MOMENT is all there is.

Lizzie got a case of the sneezes the other day. Something got into her nose, and she started sneezing about every 5 seconds. After 3 sneezes I was concerned...but she wasn't. She was living life to the fullest in the 5 seconds between sneezes. She sniffed a bug on the ground. She looked at a chipmunk in the distance. She nibbled a piece of grass.

If it had been me sneezing, I'd have been rummaging desperately for a Kleenex, wondering what I'd inhaled, wondering when it was going to stop. Normal life would have come to a screeching halt until the sneezes were gone.

Think about it; human adults spend most of their mental energy in the past or the future. Young children live "in the moment" because they don't have much past and can't yet grasp the concept of "future." Appreciating the present seems to be a talent we lose as we mature.

Back in the '80s, an author named Spencer Johnson wrote a best-selling mini-book called "The Precious Present." I'll bet he had a dog! This week, make a conscious effort to appreciate a few more of the "NOW" moments in your life. If you need coaching and inspiration, look to your dog!

No comments: