As I've said before, Dickens has gained many friends in the neighborhood...Brady, Bentley, Bruno, and Junior to name a few. He's been invited and accepted many play-dates and I'm grateful to their pup-parents for helping hone this pup's social life and for trying to calm my fears.
With endless encouragement from these kind folk and with pleading eyes from a certain Cairn Terrier, I've had to face the fear of something happening vs. the best interest of this dog. Letting go of that leash, even in a fenced yard has caused gallons of "stress sweat" as I angst over each encounter. I love this little not-too-well-mannered-but we're-working-on-it creature. I've had to have a serious talk with myself. These chats include, but are not limited to, topics such as the benefits of socialization, rejection, and safety. If there's a Dr. Spock equivalent for canines, then I've read it. I can go from 0 to 60 on the stress meter in a heartbeat.
Lately, I've been trying to look at the other side of the coin as I see things that occurred in my childhood that didn't necessarily school me in games children play. My folks loved me and over-protected me. Being unable to participate in childhood activities forced me to make up for lost time in adulthood. I know I felt a certain deficiency in my youth and asked such questions to the cosmos such as, "Why can't I be part of that [insert activity]? What's wrong with me?" It might sound strange, but I don't want to do that to my dog.
So, tonight on our short jaunt around the 'hood, I accepted my neighbor's invitation for Dickens to play with two dogs he knew and two he had never met. (Let the stress sweat begin.) In those brief moments, I saw this little lad light up, perform his sniff greeting, and run around with his new buds with all his heart. He returned to me panting with a glint in his eye and I swear wearing a smile that said, "Wow, this is great!" One of the new friends had to educate Dickens in no uncertain terms that he was top dog, but all in all the outing went well.
Once home and watered, Dickens settled down easier and more relaxed than his usual terrier self. It's going to take a while for me to gain the confidence to let go (a little). He's been invited to a puppy-party this Saturday evening. I'm mulling it over...
So, take that fear, my pup-son won't be growing up around you.
Links to the Outside World
- Stepping Aside
- Attention! Attention!
- The Late Shift, But Not Short On Gratitude
- A Letter to Monday
- Rocksalot Cottage: Letter from My Inner Caregiver...
- Modern Technology Hits a Snag
- Deja Vu With A Twist
- You've Got To Be Taught
- A Pup-mom Learns to Let Go.
- If I Monday, I Must be Running...
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- ► 2012 (89)