You got mad. Really really mad. And you did something that you regret. or…
You followed directions. Did what you were told to do, even though you weren’t too sure about it. And now you regret it. or…
You let someone else handle your dog, and they did things that you would never do. And now you regret it.
It doesn’t matter what happened; now you feel like crap. You did something to your dog, or you let someone else do something to your dog, and from your point of view, it was horrible.
One of the reasons that dogs get along so well with humans is their ability to forgive. To move on. To take each day as a new day and to live in the moment.
I’m not saying there won’t be some fallout because there probably will. But what matters more than the past is the present and the future.
Even if whatever you did went on for weeks, months or years, the odds that your dog will move on when you do is really pretty good. Not all dogs, but a fair number.
Do a little better going forwards. Give out a few extra cookies the next time you’re hanging out together; that’s a pretty decent doggy apology. Unlike a mistreated child, there will be no calling you out in therapy sessions twenty years down the road. It really will be over.
Unless you’re one of those woman who holds guilt to your heart like a drowning child, refusing to let go, but that’s not about the dog. That’s about you. How about considering the 99% of the time when your dog is living the coolest life with every possible comfort?
An extra cuddle and a hug will do a lot. The easiest, most no brainer training sessions for the next while. Your dog wins and wins and wins. Any signs of discomfort in your dog should be met with a smile, a few more cookies and the end of the session. Next time, make it even easier.
If you can move on, your dog can too.
It’s going to be alright. That why we love our dogs. They love us, even when they shouldn’t. And what’s super cool about humans is that we can plan in advance, so that in the future we really will do better.