He lives in fear: of the vacuum cleaner, the broom, a plastic bag dancing in the wind, a branch falling from a tree, the garbage truck, loud laughter from the neighbors', slamming doors, strangers, the street, my absence.
I get it. The human world is full of scary stuff for dogs. Mechanical stuff. Loud stuff. Stinky stuff (like the garbage truck). His fears might not be reasonable, but--I get it.
His abject terror of a cow, though, I don't.
|Sam's nightmare cow|
It's a fifth of your size, Sam! Stop being such a drama queen! (Or king, whatever.)
Completely by accident, I came across a post (by Eileen, one of my favorite dog people): Is My Dog A Drama Queen? Ha, thought I, this one's for Sam.
No. It was for me.
About halfway through the post I found this (Zani is Eileen's Sam):
"I need to remind myself that this house, with my other dogs and me, and the places Zani gets to go–these things are Zani’s world. She is utterly dependent on me. She has things she likes and dislikes, things she looks forward to or not. They are perfectly real and important to her."And then:
"I need to take Zani’s frustrations and stresses seriously, not just brush them away as cute, silly, or annoying. [...] I need to change my internal response."Bam.
We've established dogs cannot lie--they're, quite literally, incapable of it--so why don't I take him seriously? Why am I labeling his reactions as "drama"? Because from my point of view his fear of the cow is unreasonable? Unjustified?
Who am I to judge?
I think I do this with people, too. I have very low (read zero) tolerance for drama queens. Your boyfriend cheated on you, your wallet got stolen, you crashed your car and don't have insurance, you lost your job, your house burned down? Here, have a kleenex, have a drink. Stop the sniveling, it's not the end of the world.
Isn't it? Maybe it is drama--or maybe, for that person, this thing that's happened really does feel like the end of the world. Who am I to judge?
My decorative cow is the stuff of Sam's nightmares. One person's drama is another person's abject terror. A good human--a good friend--should understand that.
~ * ~
Thanks for the visit, and happy A-to-Z-ing!
[Want more Lessons In Life From Dogs?]