She’s my dog. The one that plays inside outside.
Time to mention one of the other traits she has. The ‘I’m not budging’ trait. It goes like this. We’re walking along, I’m admiring the sunrise, enjoying the solitude that comes with walking her before work and she’s trotting along at my side. It’s a perfectly normal dog walk; one that you see on any street in any town or village throughout the country.
Until Dolly stops. She’s not stopped to sniff anything, eat anything or because she’s tired. She’s just decided to stop. A bit of coaxing from me. “Come on Dolly, good girl.” Nothing. A bit of tugging on the lead from me. It’s met with resistance, the brakes are definitely on. More cajoling from me, this time with excited intonation (it’s what the dog trainers say, right?). “Good girl, let’s go! Come on!”
Still nothing. She’s sat down, big brown eyes staring right at me. Her neck rigidly set waiting for me to pull at her lead again. My pre-work schedule doesn’t have time for her shenanigans. I’ll be late if she doesn’t budge soon. So I raise my voice and pull on her lead. “Dolly, come ON.”
Still nothing. Just her will to stay put.I feel frustration welling, my temper and anxiety levels rising. I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS. We’ve gone from pleasant stroll, where I’m feeling great to be alive to this ridiculous impasse – in a matter of minutes.
The answer – as I’ve learned – is to wait for Dolly to get up and walk on, by herself. It doesn’t take that long either. Once I’ve stopped pleading and yelling and pulling, she decides quite quickly. We’re already on a course and she knows where we’re heading. My role is to enjoy the moment, breathe in the clean countryside air, admire what’s around me and use the precious time to think about what I can do next to get the best out the day ahead.
I’ve found it’s a useful lesson in communications too.