Teddy, our dog, was booked in for his annual shots last week. He’s a nervous little rescue mutt - with big neediness issues. He began to shake even before I opened the door of the vet clinic. He sat trembling on my lap while we waited and then I had to carry him into the room - no way was he going in voluntarily!
This time, before I even reminded the vet, she had the muzzle ready. Yes… Teddy, when he’s scared, does snap. I know it. And our lovely vet knows it too!
The vet velcro-ed the muzzle on Teddy and gave him his shots while I held him as firmly as I could. Of course I apologised: ‘You know what he’s like, a snappy, growly, cranky eejit, I’m really sorry.’
Her response fascinated me. She said: ‘About 60% of small dogs who come in here are growly, snappy and cranky. But their owners don’t suggest a muzzle and don’t admit their dog is behaving badly. Most of them just say: ‘Awww he’s nervous being at the vet, the poor thing’!! I’d say you are only one of 6% of dog owners who see their dog as he really is…’
This got me thinking about awareness. Being aware of our dog’s behaviour sure but also aware of our children’s, our loved one’s and most importantly of all… our own behaviour. Is (self) awareness really ‘half the battle’ as we often say?
I think awareness might just be the beginning of ‘the battle’ - that first giant leap into changing our ways. Terrifying? Yes. But once we allow ourselves to become aware of our bad behaviour or a loved one’s bad behaviour, once we really witness it, there’s no going back. The only way then is… onwards. The only way then is… change. Which is slow and scary but ultimately positive and empowering.
It’s like when we realise someone we love is an addict. When we actually see it and believe it because it is the truth. Their truth. Our truth. The actual truth. Once we know that, we can’t believe any more lies. Not the lies they tell us. And certainly not the lies we tell ourselves. Once we see the truth, we can’t un-see it…
I love our dog to bits. Teddy is cuddly, cute and playful. But, at times, he is a snappy, growly, cranky mutt who needs a muzzle (or popped in the car out of harm’s way).
That’s awareness I guess. It’s certainly the truth.
Sending positivity and strength to all Moodscopers who need it today,