Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lessons Learned from Little Dogs

Folks who can observe life as it happens and deduce from those observations are blessed.  Too many of us go through life without seeing things around us.  The reality is there are lessons being taught to us daily.  We only have to stop and watch.

Just as an example, yesterday I took each of our little dogs around the block for a short walk.  Short for me, dogs with legs that are eight inches long might disagree.  The routine is the same for each of them... out to the garage (away from the other dog who waits their turn, impatiently) to have their leash attached.  Then out the side door and down the driveway.

They always stop before they get to the end of the driveway and wait.

You see, when we moved in, I installed an "Invisible Fence".  They learned the "safe" area they were confined to very quickly.  It was, apparently, ingrained in their minds.  The interesting thing is that about a month ago a lightening strike took the fence out completely.  The in ground wire needs to be reinstalled and I just haven't had time to do that.

I even took off the collars that give the "gentle correction".  (Neither had been corrected in years)


Those two little dogs still are convinced the fence is there, working and that their collars are on.  They sit and wait to be picked up and carried about ten feet to cross over the fence.  It is sort of silly, picking them up, carrying them ten feet across the area where the fried fence wire is buried.  I suspect they would pull away if I tried to lead them toward it.  In their minds they are captivated by a fence that no longer works.  The collars that presently sit in a closet still hang around their minds.

I began to ponder that as I walked with Trulla May, my Shitz Tzu.  How like them we are.  We allow ourselves to be bound by invisible, mostly nonexistent limits in our lives.  We establish boundaries to our creativity, our dreams, our hopes and goals every day.  We go just so close to the edge of "safe" and stop, waiting but going no further for fear of some "gentle correction" from fate or life or the response of others.

I wonder why we don't just run through those boundaries?  What is stopping us?  What is stopping you?

Is it bravery, genius or disregard that allows those few, passionate folks to cross the invisible fences in their lives and become great?  An even better question... when you do cross that line, why do you run back into the yard?  Why do you go back into the box, back to the defined area that is vanilla safety?
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