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Monday, May 3, 2010

It's not you, it's me

As humans, we are capable of emotions that are all over the board. There is a myriad of reasons behind our mood and sometimes we are not even aware of how we are behaving. Our minds are busied with our 'to-do' lists, places we have to get and keeping other people happy. We have a tendency to ignore our non-verbal communication and the energy that we send out - and how it affects others around us. Most everyone else around us are simultaneously experiencing the same bustle of activity and emotion that we are individually. We walk around mindlessly, sometimes. Paying attention to our reactions really can affect and improve the way that we get along with other people along the course of our day; our body language, tone of voice, speed of our step, the measure of our breath. Funny how we can immediately notice when someone else is irritated, but fail to recognize when we are doing the same. (Maybe we pay attention to non-verbal communication more than we think!)


Animals
rely on non-verbal cues so much more than we do, mainly because they lack the capacity for language, physiologically. Our pets pick up immediately on what we are feeling. They know when our mood isn't exactly up to par, and we don't even have to say a word. Our energy can directly affect the way that our pets behave. Humans - not pets, in many cases set the tone for how a training session, a trip to the vet or any given Tuesday will go. Being conscious of how you are behaving can directly impact the outcome of any of those situations. If you're having a particularly difficult day, perhaps try to avoid a training session and focus on constructive playtime or just go out and play a simple game of fetch.

We are all guilty of not behaving at our best, and our pets can help us identify when we are, since they mirror our energy most times. Notice - "is my dog acting tense, uncooperative? Are they avoiding me?" I think in many cases, it's not the animal who has the problem, it's us. When this happens, I take a minute, inhale, exhale and quickly surmise what really going on.

Moments like that remind me to try and always behave as though my pets are with me.


Lorrie Shaw is owner of Professional Pet Sitting and lives in Dexter Twp. with her family that includes a small brood of pets. You will see her walking her charges in neighborhoods local to West Ann Arbor, Dexter and surrounding communities. Contact her by phone at 734-904-7279 or ppsa2mi@gmail.com





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