When I was working as a Pastry Chef, (by default because I was a Baker), I had this one customer who would come into the restaurant pretty much weekly, and have one of the servers come and ask me if I could ‘whip him up a Grand Mariner Souffle’.
My response to the server to pass along was always, ‘as fast as you can whip me up a ticket to Paris’. It was fun bantering, and fun to know we both had a sense of humor.
This customer knew that anything this delicate and yummy took time and skill, but all the same, he kept asking, and I kept responding, and he would wait the hour or so, and then thank me for ‘the most amazing dish ever’.
Not quite a year later, and noticing that this customer hadn’t come in for quite some time, I received an envelope. A ticket to Paris, one way, and a simple note, “Thank you for humoring an old man. I think I loved waiting for my Souffle almost as much as eating it. It was a treat to know that you were in the kitchen working to make me something so wonderful. Special things are worth waiting for. I hope Paris is everything and more, enjoy.”
Special things are worth waiting for. I have never forgotten that, ever.
In my work, I have amazing clients that had to have spent some time looking for me, found me, and are dedicated to working with their dogs and learning more about them.
But I also meet, on a daily basis, people that need their dog to have a certain behavior, or not have a certain behavior, by a critical date for one reason or another. They want to ‘break’ a bad habit, or teach their dog an elite level skill with minimal effort. OR, they have heard, or seen on TV, or have been told by someone that ‘this or that’ technique, or piece of gear, or TV show is a magic solution and within minutes, minutes I tell you, you will have the dog of your dreams, with minimal effort, if any effort at all, and you don’t even need to learn more about your dog or dogs in general, TA DA!
The sales pitch of your dreams! The Magic Pill, Pixie Dust, the Quick Fix, and the Wonder Watchamacallit. It takes seconds or minutes, no effort, no skill, no knowledge necessary, WA LA!
If something can be magically applied and cause such change, and you as the owner never gained an ounce of skill, whats the point? Part of living with another living being is to learn together. To gain skills together. To explore life together, have a journey. I guarantee that your dog is not asking you to be perfect over night, they don’t criticize your shortcomings, and they don’t expect you to be Fred Astaire when out walking. Just something to think about.
Everything worth doing, everything worth achieving, everything of substance takes time and effort, everything.
If you don’t fully commit to something, fully change how you see something, you will forever be reaching for the quick fix, which doesn’t exist, it is a band-aid at best!
So if your dog is A LOT of dog, not easy, not straight forward, you will spend more time working with your dog. If you want to achieve a behavior that is not easy for you or your dog, you will spend time working on this, together, over time, months or years. The process is part of the fun. Once you own this, life does become magical, but in the true sense of the word.
Nancy, who is now dreaming of Paris again!