Our new dog Daisy is pretty great. She's fun, energetic, loving, just about everything we were hoping for. She does have a penchant for chewing napkins and tissues, but that's a small price to pay. Potty accidents have been few now that we know her usual signal. She whimpers at the door. The thing that throws her off is rain. She doesn't seem to mind being in the rain, but she doesn't like walking on wet grass. On Saturday, we woke up to a really rainy day. The kind that you want to have a fire in the fireplace, read books or watch movies, and take a nap. After her abbreviated morning walk, we were attentive for the signal. Indeed it came, twice, but she took no action. This made me nervous, so I took her out again. I stepped over onto the grass, under my umbrella, determined to wait her out. She sniffed, she looked, and she got totally distracted. There were rain drops, little moths, the sounds of other dogs, plenty to look at. I walked around, trying to get her back on task. She sniffed, I knew we were almost there, then she got distracted again. We tried this for some time, I eventually brought her back in. Defeated.
It made me think. How many times have I whimpered at the door in life? Times I have been stuck inside a place that I was miserable and knew I needed out. Yet, when the door was opened and I went out, I got distracted and didn't make the choices I had been whimpering for, that I needed. Instead I looked around, watched others, listened to others, and wound up going back into the same place that I needed out of.
Just like Daisy, who will make a big mess in the house if she doesn't respond to her own whimpering, I can make a big mess (and have before) if I don't respond to my own internal signals. I am old enough now to recognize those signals (anxiety or unexplained sadness are a couple), but like Daisy I still ignore them sometimes. That's when it is important to have people in my life that can recognize my signals just like I know Daisy's. They need to lead me out the door and encourage me to respond correctly.
Do you know your signals? Or perhaps more importantly, do you have people in your life who know your signals? Why not take a walk today and listen for any signals you might be ignoring? You'll feel better when you do.
Labels: dog, Sheila Siler, signals