Is Peace Going to the Dogs?

Yes!  Let me (Lucy) explain …

While working with Shirley Lynn in preparing the 2014 guide book Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships, I was thinking about my own relationships. In particular, I reflected on a relationship that is very near and dear to my heart – my young dog Rayna. How am I creating a peaceful relationship between us?

In right relationshipRayna is a large young adult who now has the size, strength and tenacity to resist any physical manipulations (aka ‘man-handling’) if she chooses to. When she has the desire to go in a certain direction, she has the ability to do it. Having had big dogs in my life previously, I knew the frustration of trying to restrain a powerful dog from going or doing something I didn’t want. I also recall how anger (for such ‘disobedience’) could drive me to use tools and techniques that were less than peaceful and did little to enhance our relationship.

Having been down that road a few times in the past, I knew this time I wanted to take a different path. One where respect is mutual; where both of our desires are factored into the equation of a healthy meaningful partnership; where trust and communication are central to our relationship.

Not that our relationship is all comfy and cozy – there are definitely challenges and clashing desires – but the goal is always to remain in (or return to) a place of peace between us. As Rayna moves through her adolescence and tests and pushes harder to assert her own desires and ideas, I have to stay even more consciously committed to our core intention of peace.

I am faced daily with how to peacefully ask Rayna to do something differently without using force or suppressing her personality or desires. Those who share our home are frustrated at times by my choice not to keep a collar on her all the time, but I find it reminds me to consider alternate methods of engagement  – to seek more creative ways of communicating with her about more appropriate behaviour. For me, the collar can too easily  become a means of control and expedience, so when I have the option, I want to exercise creative influence rather than manipulation. Of course, this approach isn’t always feasible (like when guests come to our home). In the real world, we don’t always get what we want.

But back to the guide book Wisdom’s Way to Peaceful Relationships. Without realizing it at the time, I had followed a similar system in designing the relationship I wanted to have with my next dog. I looked back at my previous relationships – at what worked and what didn’t, what I wanted to change and how I was going to do that. I prepared myself as best I could to make this vision come to life – I read a lot of books and other resources, I talked with people who had relationships with their dogs that I admired, and I sought out a trainer who could help me be more creative and resourceful in my commitment for a peaceful relationship with Rayna. And I wrote down what it was that I wanted (my vision) so I could recall it later and bring it to life. I also continue to review and revise as we go along to better reflect our reality and partnership.

What I am learning on this journey with Rayna can be generalized to other relationships as well. I believe when you seek to live peacefully in one relationship, you soon need this to happen in other relationships as well. Otherwise, there is too much discord which will eventually infiltrate your so-called peaceful relationship. But you have to start somewhere, and why not with the one nearest and dearest to your heart? The journey begins with that first step.

I encourage you to pick up the new Wisdom’s Way to Peaceful Relationships to focus your quest in evaluating, re-defining, and even changing your relationships to reflect the peace and harmony you desire in your relationships. Buy a pdf version on-line and get started today, or purchase a printed version at Shirley Lynn’s office. You can also get it free with the purchase of a Wisdom Package. Whichever way is best for you, I know it will get you thinking and moving toward more peaceful living … so why wait?

Submitted by Lucy Martin