It’s true when the author and animal rights activist Temple Grandin in her book Animals Make us Human said, “When people are suffering mentally, they want to feel better-they want to stop having bad emotions and start having good emotions. That’s the right goal with animals, too.”
For Valentine’s Day this year I decided to celebrate the life of my pet Belle, our almost 12 year old cocker spaniel. She’ll turn 12 on March 4th and the more time I spend with her, the more I love her. This also rings true with my beloved husband Patrick. It truly is unconditional love. If it’s not, isn’t it time to analyze that relationship and figure out whether it should go forward. It’s interesting an animal doesn’t have that choice. They are stuck with us aren’t they? I try to make my dogs environment special and pawsitively stimulating……..:)
That brilliant author Temple Grandin also elaborated on this very true principle:
“My theory is that the environment animals live in should activate their positive emotions as much as possible, and not activate their negative emotions any more than necessary. If we get the animal’s emotions right, we will have fewer problem behaviors.” Boy if most humans learned how to live and love this way.
She goes on in Chapter 2 “A Dog’s Life” to show the direct similarities in parenting your dog and children. I love what she says here and we can all learn from this:
“Dog owners need to be the leader the same way parents do. Good parents set limits and teach their kids how to behave nicely, and that’s exactly what dogs need, too. Dogs have to learn good manners and their owners have to teach them. When dogs don’t have good human parents, they get crazy and out of control and take over the house the same way an undisciplined, spoiled child gets crazy and out of control and takes over the house.”
Often times do you feel like your love life with your beloved spouse is suffering or your children are out of control? (I can totally relate to that one!). Setting realistic limits and boundaries with all of them can make you happy and will set the tone for your relationship going forward. If not and we live life unconsciously walking around in a depressed daze, resentment and bitterness happen to take root; we know love can’t grow under those conditions.
Have you ever taken a walk with your dog, not for you but for them? Ever see how they react when you do that-they look happy, refreshed, and I know for my dog, she seems to smile after a good long walk. She received love and I did too! What a wonderful thing!
I wish you tenderness in this journey with your families and children and pets if that’s what you want, especially on this Valentine’s Day that just happen to make it on our American calendar and will remain so. It reminds us early in the calendar year to be cognizant of our loved ones! Animals really do make us human.