Your choice affects your dog’s choice — a lesson I’m reminded of everyday. (Image credit goes to Lili Chin.)
Way back this winter, when Chalo started having growly reactions toward other dogs, I made the mistake of correcting him for it. Traditional wisdom and all the training books I’d read as a kid in the ’90s told me firm discipline was necessary, so I spoke sternly and used physical corrections with a choke collar. Surprise: in just 48 hours, it became so much worse. A little growliness turned into full-on explosions of snarling and lunging and raised hackles and high emotions. The changes were happening so quickly it frightened me. This was not a dog I recognized. So I backtracked, devoured every bit of reactivity literature I could find on the internet, and soon wondered if, in Chalo’s mind, the situation looked very different. To him, it seemed to be, “Every time we see a dog, my person gets worried and bad things happen. She becomes a person I do not recognize. I need to growl more to make that dog go away, and to keep bad things from happening.” My whole perspective on the issue changed — or at least, made me more receptive to alternatives, out of desperation and concern that I was singlehandedly ruining my dog.
The next day I approached it differently, with a soft, open, patient mindset and a bag full of cheese. And in one session, Chalo was sitting quietly and sweetly, twenty feet away from the golden retriever who previously sent him into a growling frenzy.
In one week, he was walking past yards of snarling, lunging, barking, frustrated dogs with the same sweet, quiet, expectant look on his face.
Today, Chalo hasn’t growled at another dog in months.
I definitely don’t propose that there is any one-size-fits-all training method for every dog, and everything I don’t know about dogs could fill several rooms several times over. But Chalo teaches me so much, all the time: how to be a better teacher, how to approach problems creatively, how to be patient, how to motivate. So many canine behavior problems are misunderstandings, rooted partly in a failure of human imagination and empathy. And that is fixable. That can change. Chalo continues to show me what I need to give more of, not just in dog training but in life in general — reflection on my own actions, and consideration for how we all can be shaped, battered, or buoyed by the world around us. Dogs can make us better, and this dog is making me better.
do u ever look at ur friend’s drawings or stories and be like
ESTP: super attractive physically but it’s all downhill from there. never quite know what they’re going to do next but you can probably bet it will be irresponsible. somehow still lovable.
ESTJ: loud, logical, and get shit done — they are the warrior class of the life rpg. power stats make them unbeatable and if you encounter one, maybe just curl up and forfeit, to save time.
ESFP: giggly little shits. fun fun fun till her daddy takes the t-bird away. great for lifting your mood, not that great at lifting your credit score.
ESFJ: too appropriate, totally lacking in awkwardness. they’ll never forget your birthday, which will make you feel like shit when you constantly forget theirs.
ENTP: excellent companions if you enjoy people who instantly see through all your shit. very clever and very intuitive, you can’t fool them. i suggest you invest in other friends — ones you *can* fool.
ENTJ: impatient with people who make mistakes, namely, everyone. they’ll respect you if you stand up to them but why do that when you can run away instead. cuddle them and see what happens. i’m curious.
ENFP: too puppy to live. best suited for the profession of musical nanny. not advised for use around an open flame.
ENFJ: way too charming and capable, maybe they should stop making everyone else look bad. prone to making other people care about stuff they didn’t want to care about. so annoying.
ISTP: such butts. best suited for an apocalypse scenario, if no such scenario exists, they will create danger because they get bored. don’t encourage them, but don’t discourage them, as reverse psychology works too well.
ISTJ: low drama and low maintenance, best value at this price tier. best suited to actual human existence. least weird, which makes them kinda weird.
ISFP: squishy little darlings you might want to keep in your pocket, but please don’t or they will become forlorn. they notice everything, and it’s unnerving.
ISFJ: quietly and proudly do things for others. if you have a ring you need to deliver to mordor, take an ISFJ along with you for best results.
INTP: cute intergalactic spiders you want to hug and mistrust. prone to making you laugh but then days later you will wonder whether you were the butt of the joke.
INTJ: major dicks and kinda proud of it. prone to being right. prone to liking trance music way too much. all the ones i’ve ever met have been unexpectedly kinky. so i guess, expectedly.
INFP: they fall out of the sky and are raised by unicorns. if you feed one it will follow you home. they dissipate in water.
INFJ: chameleons appropriating your emotions and going quietly mad. prone to meltdowns and needing lots of naps.
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night with your icon hovering 3 inches from your face asking in a creepy whisper
"What’s the wifi password?"
A VISIT FROM A PRINCESS IM SO HONOURED
Do yOU EVER JUST SEE A REALLY ATTRACTIVE PiCTURE OF YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER AND YOU JUST