Jason came into my life Christmas eve 2014. I adopted him from Unity Church’s pet ministry. His owner had cancer and was dying, he needed a home. I first met Jason at Rimer’s animal hospital, he’d been there a month with his 2 sibs, awaiting their new home. After he came into the small gray hospital room, he started nipping my ankles, “no way”, I told myself, “I don’t want a dog that bites me”. But we continued to hang out and after awhile his sister Adelle, a senior Shitzu, joined us and he started grooming her, which started to shift me, I saw he was really sweet.
So, conditionally, I took him home, on the condition he didn’t bite me and he and I were a good match. I discovered: yes, he’s really sweet, my heart softened, but he also, chewed my pillows and occasionally peed on the floor. But, I didn’t notice this until I was on the floor doing yoga and I’d see dried pee under the couch, around the toilet under the bathtub and around legs of the tables.
Talking with friends about him, I couldn’t get rid of him, I knew all he been through, but I needed to figure out how to make this work. I promised myself, “I’ll get better at watching him, and realized I needed to crate him when I was gone, which also stirred up fear in me, I’d never crated a dog, and he was seven what if he couldn’t do it, what if…, but my fears were wrong, he took to it within a week, huge progress was being made and he was teaching me, it’s true we all can change, and you can teach an old dog new tricks! So it was working, but one of my friends recommended I reach out to an animal communicator because it did seem he was still marking, and I couldn’t figure out when he was doing it. But I resisted her suggestion, because, I kept telling myself it wasn’t that bad and a part of me doubted what good it would do.
But…one day when I was with my boyfriend a bit too long and attention too long off of Jason, we came out into the room he’d been in, and saw he had peed on the couch, no mistake, he was pissed.
So…I cleaned it up, and again, realized he can’t be left alone, even if we’re in the same place. He was teaching me what needed to be done next.
Two weeks ago, a guy came by to buy a bike I was selling, I told Jason, stay here, I will be back in 15 minutes,
( what was I thinking?) and to my dismay, (but probably to be expected) he’d peed on both my new pillows. Finally I got the message, “my best efforts aren’t working”, I needed a plan that did.
A couple hours later I was at a meeting I shared my experience and a random person said, maybe you can contact an animal communicator, now I was listening, because I was feeling trapped in my own house wondering what he’d pee on next.
Last Friday was my session with Alicia, my major take away; Jason, wanted to feel more included in my life. That statement reminded me of the the parenting I received, was the parenting I was giving Jason! (Oh no, how could this be?) My parents were very hands off, as the youngest child, they rarely knew exactly what I was doing, they’d a vague idea. They didn’t ask questions they didn’t want answers to and I was doing this with Jason. I kind of knew what he was doing. But giving him a lot of freedom wasn’t working for either of us.
So I’m becoming a helicopter mom, every where I go, I bring Jason, we’re learning to work together. Some of the time he thinks he’s in trouble, ( and I notice I feel worried, he won’t be happy with this, I bypass this thinking) because he can’t go everywhere he wants to be. But I’m also learning he’s calmer and isn’t jumping as often on people when we go for walks. We both are finding our way. I’m so focused on having him near me and it’s giving us both clarity on what’s okay and what isn’t.
Parenting Jason, teaches me: the need for an expert where I’m not, the power of boundaries, being consistent, being vigilant when it would be easier not to be. Which is much of what I teach my coaching clients. We can’t change without changing. As Einstein said: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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