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wisdom of dogs, Issue #075-- Year of Equanimity
October 12, 2022

Healing Sandy's past

Two weeks ago I shared Sandy’s sad experience seeing a man she thought was her former owner at the park with another dog.

That incident has made me examine the relationship I have with Sandy.

We've gotten closer over the years, but often our lives feel parallel, rather than pack-life.

Her affection for me feels conditional. If I fail to meet her expectations, she isn’t terribly forgiving.

I frequently feel her judgement when I fail to share my snacks or when I insist on something unpleasant, like a bath.

I’ve never felt as close to her as I have to some of my other dogs.

I care for her, but there doesn’t seem to be that virtuous feedback loop of affection. She misses me when I am gone, but as long as her needs are met, she doesn’t mope overmuch.

Other dogs

My former pets I have bonded with as puppies. In those cases, a young dog was looking for a mom-alpha to follow. It was easy to step into that role.

Others were rescues who were grateful for their new life.

With rescues, it becomes a matter of building trust.

In Huff's case, the simple acts of bringing him into my house and putting away the crate went a long way to reassuring him of my good intentions.

Sandy's New Family

But Sandy is different. She had a good life in a happy home with someone who loved her. She didn't need me. At least she didn't think she did.

Yet she found herself with a new_family.html

I'm trying to spend more time with her right now, giving her the attention I suspect she needs to heal this broken heart. She seems appreciative of the extra effort, but she has a limit.

She will simply get up and go off to another spot to be alone.

I give her that space. We have time to work through this. I will be here for her, however long it takes.

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