The Dog Grumbler
FAITH plays a large part in the dog/human relationship.
A dog can’t really survive without humans — it has to trust a human who leaves food to provide the next meal.
It has to trust that human to behave the same way in the same situation every time so it can fit — as much as possible— into every aspect of their life.
It has to have faith in a human to be pleased and displeased by the same things regularly and this faith must be earned.
Good dog trainers behave consistently within their dog’s frame of reference.
They know that eventually their dog will learn if they have faith and keep at it.
These consistencies are what a dog seeks and remembers.
The more consistent our behaviour, the more confident our dog becomes — the more faith it can and will invest.
They are here to do this.
To work for us.
Some people think dogs are special because they have a good sense of smell — not so, humans are special because we have virtually none compared to most creatures.
Smell is easy – we use pigs for example, to find truffles by scent, but there are no seeing-eye pigs.
Dogs are special because they come looking for a job and respond to human consistency with service and faith.
They will return to the place they last saw us when they become lost or will find their way home from remote locations because they believe we want to be reunited with them as much as they with us.
They will serve in any way they can and wait forever.
We hear much of its power — faith is said to move mountains — and it works both ways.
We need to have faith in this special creature.
We need to believe that if we behave consistently our dog will learn how to make us happy and work tirelessly to do so.
We need to give them reason to invest their faith in us.
We need to create routines and be predictable, reliable, and patient.
And here is one of the special rewards of enlightened dog ownership – we learn from their example and we become better humans.
I have often said that a dog will reward your faith more reliably than anything else in the universe.
This should never be under-estimated.
To have one’s faith rewarded is an exhilarating experience denied to many.
It is reward enough that some gain confidence in the potential for other trusting relationships.
Watch people with dogs — they are likely more confident in interactions with strangers, especially other dog owners.
They wake each morning knowing someone relies on them and believes in them — a singularly energising experience.
Faith perhaps, means different things to different people, but its power cannot be denied.
It’s good to believe in something.
Wherever we find it, belief, trust in something outside ourselves is empowering — more so as the rewards become tangible.
I guess faith is a personal thing.
I invest mine judiciously.
I believe in dog.