Well we went for a nice long hike this morning, up towards Ross Peak in the Bridgers. I do a lot of thinking when I am out and about in the mountains. Movement, fresh air, and lots and lots of sweating!
I thought of so many things I wanted to say in regards to the post ‘Cautionary Letter’, and specifically, the comments the post has been receiving. Some thoughts I had were so simple, and some thoughts totally brilliant. And as soon as we arrived back at the trail head, POOF! everything was gone, couldn’t remember a damn thing. So it will suffice to say, gorgeous hike, and now I will start from scratch.
I can’t comment on anything outside of the letter posted. That is information that is not made to be public. I will say that the letter was written with sincerity, raw honesty (which I applaud), and with courage. Owning up to a mistake is hard enough for a person to accept on there own. Being honest with ones self is the first step in anything. Owning up to a mistake publicly and standing there with arms wide open, ready to take some hits, is something totally different, and to me it is someone who has let go of ego, and when ego is gone, so are limitations. This is where healing, love, and kindness begin.
Let me try to address some of what is being discussed –
Kindness and Gratitude – Thank you to those that read the letter and understood the intent of trying to forgive ones self, help someone else through a difficult event, and to hopefully move on and become a better person. Holy crap, that is a major life event, life changing, and raw. There was no sugar coating through all of the mistakes, none.
My BLOG – My blog is my name, Nancy Tanner. I purposefully did that so people had a pretty clear idea of who’s words they were reading, and if they comment, they would be commenting to a person. I am a for real person, you don’t have to address me in the 3rd person, I am right here. I write as if I were talking to you, and I read everything that is posted in the comments, whether I agree with it or not. I have formed some really nice friendships over the past year, around the world, and it has been an awesome place to share conversations and ideas. I have gone through birth, death, and everything in between with some of my readers. I consider this relationship a privilege.
Judgement – I knew there would be judgement with this post but was honestly blown away by the level of hatred and condemnation that was laced with even a deeper level of judgement. This letter was a nano micro glimpse into an even smaller nano micro part of a persons life. That some of you had this person, and myself for that matter, all figured out was slightly creepy.
Not everyone in the world is dogcentric, in fact very few. Many of the responses assumed that these people should have known better based on a dogcentric persons point of views. There are so many levels of dog ownership, dog knowledge, dog love, that it would be insane to try and fit everyone into one category. There are plenty of dog owners that love their dogs, but to you or I it might not look that way. Love is a super subjective thing, and I for one am not an expert by any means. If someone tells me they love their dog, I believe them, who am I to say “no that is not love, here let me show you what love really is”.
It is not for me to know how this persons love for their dog felt. It is not my life or my truth. Sometimes I think it is important to parcel out truth from belief. What I believe may not be someone else truth and visa versa. This is a fine line and it takes practice.
If you feel OK to judge others because you are perfect, than sign your posts with ‘Mother Teresa’. But I am almost certain she wasn’t perfect and stated that quite often, so…
My Work – If somebody finds me, contacts me, and shows up for an appointment, they are not lazy, far from it. There is a serious amount of effort that has to happen before I meet with someone. I am not a counselor, social worker, nanny, or busy body. I don’t pry into my clients lives. Sometimes my clients invite me into their lives, and sometimes they don’t, either way is fine, and either way I will give them my professional advise. And I treat this with grace. I am a coach and a trainer, and work with people who want to work with their dogs.
There are things I cannot guarantee and/or control; owner compliance , dogs genetics, environmental management, early socialization, and/or consistency. I coach, I advise, I train, but I cannot be responsible for another persons actions or thoughts. I do not carry pixie dust or a crystal ball, I cannot predict the future, and I don’t stay up all night trying to figure people out. This would be exhausting I believe!
For people to make judgement that I should be saving every dog possible, rescuing every dog that doesn’t work out for a family, re-homing dogs to better homes is simply not realistic, on any level.
My Clients – Here is a shout out! My clients are awesome. Some have been with me over 11 years, some just weeks. They all have their own reason for getting a puppy or dog, they all have their own level of dedication, and they all want to achieve their personal goals with their dogs. WOOP! Each person comes with their own level of tolerance too. If one of my clients needs to re-home a dog, I trust it is the right decision for them. If one of my clients feels that they need to euthanize their dog and it is a decision that has been made thoughtfully, I trust them. If one of my clients gets litter mates, I buy them a martini! 😉
Sometimes I will meet a person for a 1 hour session and never see them again. That is all they were looking for. Other times I see the same client every week for a few years. Every person and every dog is different. I offer this variety so what ever a persons comfort zone, it will hopefully work.
If someone comes to me, and they are not ready to learn, I can’s shove it down their throats and stalk them. That would hardly be productive. When someone is ready to learn they will hear the information, I have learned it is really that simple.
Marketing – Marketing is powerful, and if you deny that you are lying to yourself. We as human beings are influenced by marketing with each and every step we take, each and every day. Our food, cars, walks, stores, houses, apartments, computers, phones, hair products, lotions, and medication. Don’t buy it? The pet industry was worth $52 billion last year, marketing HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THAT.
When someone, calling themselves a trainer, has slick info, promises of success, and testimonials, it draws people in. It is called a marketing technique. People go to school to learn how to do this. A family pet owner is not always in the know, a family pet owner is not a dogcentric person, if they feel they can make head way they will sign up for services. I see this happen all of the time.
Marketing is powerful, it influences how we think, how we act, and the flow of our lives. We have all made mistakes based on marketing. Think back to ‘The Pet Rock’, this dude became a multikatrillionaire selling freaking rocks! Now think to the shelter today with the flowery description of ‘Tulip’, who is a diamond in the rough, needs lots of attention, family outings, love, and a comfy bed to lay next to you. And a few weeks after you get home you learn that Dear Tulip needs to run a marathon each day just to stay level, diamond in the rough means gangbanger in the making, next to you means separation anxiety, and if things are not meticulously managed and structured all the time, well than family only means you, because she is slightly anti social, and pretty much a kid hater.
Lumping – It is easy to ‘lump’ people into a category. It is neat and tidy, and helps us to deal. But the reality is, the first loss of lumping family pet owners is the loss of individuality, and being ones self. We forget that they are people that share the earth and breathe the same air as us. What if we were judged because of someones perception of us based on people ‘like us’. I personally think it would suck.
Perspective – Whenever something difficult or challenging comes up I try to shed some perspective on it. Someone who thoughtfully and compassionately euthanizes their dog is not the same as someone who lights a dog on fire or buries puppies alive. Someone who tries to do what they feel is right, even though it turns out to be horribly wrong, tried, they tried, and it is more than giving up. Someone who doesn’t want to change too much for another living being may not be ready. Maybe one day, maybe not. Perspective.
Welcome to our new subscribers from all over the world.
With love, Nancy … in the pond after a long hike!!