Sunday, February 12, 2012

Other People's Feelings Are Not Mine

When Izzy and I go for our morning walk we are often met by dogs that are off leash. Their human is always close behind and starts yelling for their dog to return to them.  Sometimes the dog returns, but generally it doesn't.  I always warn them that Izzy is very particular about who she comes in contact with and there may be a problem, especially since she is very protective of me.

This morning we ran into a human who had once again allowed his dog to walk off leash.  The last time we ran into this human and dog, Izzy became very upset.  This time, she instantly became upset and then quickly calmed herself down and waited patiently as the human tried to retrieve his dog.  The dog kept barking at Izzy but the calmer Izzy became the less the dog seemed to be bothered.

As I watched the quick transformation in my border collie, I knew she had once again taught me an important lesson.  This dog came towards her with frustration and needed to "talk".  Izzy had her initial response of anger at this attack and then quickly let it go.  She seemed to realize that this wasn't her issue.  She had nothing to prove as she could have easily taken this little dog out.


Over the years I have been taking steps to let other people's feelings not become my own.  Today I saw that we always have an initial reaction to other's feelings, but what we do with that reaction is up to us.  I hope that the next time I am in a situation of someone trying to place their feelings of anger, fear, or frustration onto me that I can do as Izzy did today and let it go.  I hope that my calm will let the other person know that their feelings aren't for me to feel and experience.  I am so proud of Izzy.  Like me, it has taken her a long time to get to this point.  We are definitely learning together.