My dog, Cheyenne, is usually pretty well-behaved. However, this week she did a few things that had me thinking about the fact that all of our animal family members will, at one time or another, break out of character and demonstrate what they need if we are not responding to what they are seeking from us.
Cheyenne’s week of communicating her wants via some low-level undesirable behavior started while I was doing my taxes, something that for this non-math minded individual requires my total concentration. As you can see we have a roll of chewed paper towels and to the right there is my animal manual lymphatic drainage massage chart (canine bite tear can’t be seen in photo) and a little green toy (she left that in tact) thrown in for good measure.
We moved along a few days later on to me coming down with a cold and not really feeling like walking her as much as usual which resulted in this:
There are so many reasons why animals will “act out” but my little darling was trying to show me that she was bored with these two incidents. Luckily, I had a feeling something wasn’t “right” and ran into the room before she swallowed too much of the pen tip.
When we are overly preoccupied our animals will let us know. Ignoring what they are telling us can simply result in more relatively harmless attempts to get our attention. I consider this seeming “rule of the animal universe” to be a gift.
Cheyenne’s behaviors alerted me that I needed to ground myself. I was allowing being sick (not to mention doing taxes) to uncenter me; which can have negative repercussions. Such as the time 2 years ago when Cheyenne was 6 months old. I was in a hurry getting ready and I left her alone for about 10 minutes. She ate my eyeglass lens (made of plastic, fortunately). At that stage in our relationship, that would have been considered a rookie mistake on my part. She had been coveting those glasses for months. My veterinarian recommended that I give a little bread and butter every day until the bits of lens had passed and all was eventually well.
Naughty dog behavior is often a sign of something that we should be paying attention to both for the good of our animals and also ourselves. Animals provide us with so many gifts and one of the most valuable is how they reflect areas of our lives that need tending to. By making it a priority to pay attention to the messages they are sending we can show our appreciation for our animal family members and honor their love for us.