Holistic Tails

Holistic Tails

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Change in Perspective



Many years ago, I was washing a little Shih Tzu in a grooming tub.  I heard very clearly in my mind, "I just feel so small".  I looked down at my little client and saw her scrunched down in the tub, trembling slightly.  Looking around, I saw that the tub was huge, I was huge, compared to the little 8 pound dog, and there were big dogs in cages watching her intently.  I realized in that moment that dogs have a very different perspective of life than humans do. Seeing life from your dog's perspective will help you to understand and have more compassion for him.

A dog's vision field is much different than a human's.  For example, if you have a little Doxy like the one pictured above, when that little dog is walking around all he will see is what is at his height level. That would include lower kitchen cabinets, the bottom of the sofa and your shins.  Your face to him is about the same as if you were looking up at the face of the giant.

It's easier this way to understand why, in part, dogs become frightened when they go to the groomer or the vet.  Also, things are done to them that they don't understand.  A dog will never understand why the groomer blows the noisy air machine at them, or the vet causes them pain.  You can't explain it to them, and their perspective is more limited than your own.  When you add the issue of abandonment to their trip to the groomer, you can see why they try to walk back out the front door when you try to bring them in!

Dogs take things at face value.  They can't reason, "Well, this trip to the vet will help me to have clean teeth so that I don't lose them later".  Dogs  live completely in the moment anyway!

Living completely in the moment is a lesson we can learn from dogs.  They don't spend endless hours analyzing past mistakes and don't lay around worrying about the future.  They are very much in the moment: "I am here and my master is gone."   "I am enjoying this spot of Sun right now."  "My owner is petting me and it feels really good."

It helps us to understand and have compassion for our dogs if we see things from their perspective. It's also a good lesson for us to do so! We can learn a lot from our dogs!

Love, Georgia






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