What I Learned When My Dog Rejected Me

We are dog people. We aren't crazy dog people, the "put your dog in a purse and take it to the store" kind, we are more "the our dog is a part of the family" kind of dog people.

Rocky- My neurotic dog

Rocky- My neurotic dog

Our dogs have always been a source of comfort in hard times. There is nothing like a fuzzy hug and a few dog kisses to help ease the pain of a hard day. My love for my dog made it especially difficult to deal with his recent rejection. He is a bit (actually a LOT) neurotic and very sensitive. It seems his doggy ears are particularly sensitive to certain sounds, and especially sensitive to the pitch of my coughing fits. I was battling bronchitis and coughing a lot. Often he would be quietly sleeping only to be scarily jolted awake by a loud cough. He would jump up and  leave the room.

After a few days of this he starting leaving any room I entered. I would get down to pet him and he would get up and walk away! I realized what was going on and did everything I could to show him that I was safe to be around. One time he was in my daughter's room and I went in to pet him. I shut the door, thinking that if he had to be there with me he would see that it was comfortable and safe. Bad idea. He jumped up and started pawing at the door to escape! It was weeks before he was comfortable around me again.

This is yet another way that dogs are like people. We run from pain. Even when we know someone loves us, even when that someone has loved us for a long time, a few hurts can shatter our security, and cause us to flee and hide from further interaction.

While this behavior is understandable in an unreasoning animal, we should be better and wiser. We have the ability to place the hurts in context. We can choose to believe the best in others and work for reconciliation and restoration, yet so often we don't.

Don't be a dog! If someone you love has hurt you, Tell them! Go to them! There is a good chance that the pain was unintentional and that love and restoration are yours for the asking.

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