“We are cruel when someone refuses to play the role in which we have cast him. We judge a person only according to his relationship towards us.”
– Anais Nin
I read this quote from Anais Nin and immediately thought of how we see our dogs a certain way. There’s always this vision of how we would like them to act or a memory of how they used to be that we can’t let go of. We keep telling ourselves that they’re still like that, even though they might have changed or are trying to.
A big tough guy might buy a Pit bull and tell himself and everyone else that his dog is aggressive. Is he? Really? Then, when he isn’t, it’s a weird disappointment. The dog is either given away or the man might keep telling himself that the dog is aggressive until… the dog is persuaded of that fact, too.
Another example might be these stories we make up for our dogs. “Oh he just barked and lunged at that little dog because he doesn’t like small dogs with long hair.” Is that so… did you ask your dog somehow if that was the case? Or are you projecting this story onto your dog?
We think our dogs and horses and other animals have to be a certain way because we want them to be that way or because it is more convenient for us. The hard truth is that sometimes they might simply not fit into our lives – just like not all people will make good partners for you. There is a moment when we have to let go or continue with an open mind.
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments!