Tag Archives: dogs

An Old Dog with New Tricks

25 Apr

I never used to believe it, but it is truly possible to teach an old dog new tricks. I know this from my own recent experiences, because I’m that “old  dog” (in canine years, I’m about 215 years old—I actually looked it up on an internet website that calculates human years into dog years) and I’m astounded that I’m capable of making such great change in my life after so many years of persistent bad behavior. I’ve been stuck in my ways like a skittish mutt who’s spent most of her life cowering in the corner with her tail between her legs feeling worthless and ashamed, just waiting for someone to shout “Bad Dog!”  This fear of being chastised caused me to hide out in my smelly, self-imposed dog house, licking my wounds and playing the victim. I spent hours there, dreaming of the day when someone would come by and scratch me behind my ears and coo in a validating, high-pitched voice, “Oh my—what a good girl you are!”

Well, enough of that nonsense! I’ve always been a loyal and faithful companion, but I know when it’s time to take the leash off and run free. I’m done waiting around for the praise and approval because I’ve learned I can give it to myself. I now know that this here doggie is capable of learning new tricks, and with a little work and the right mindset, I’ve lost the urge to chew on old tennis shoes or bark incessantly at nothing. I also don’t need to eat an entire box of doggy treats in one sitting or drink out the toilet anymore. 

I’m letting go of my bad habits one by one, and it all began with a simple, yet essential change in the perception of myself—the realization that I’m intrinsically good, inside and out—just as you are, even if you don’t know it yet. This simple knowledge has been the key for me in finding the happiness that has eluded me practically my entire life.

I’m so grateful for all of the blessings that have revealed themselves to me over the past year as I’ve worked to stop thinking of myself as a “bad dog.” I’m especially thankful for all of you out there who have read my blog and posted comments and told me that what I’ve written has touched you in some way (pant, pant—yes, I admit the praise always feels good.) The support you’ve demonstrated to me means more than any of my written words could ever express. As I reveal my true self through this process of writing, I’ve been able to heal and grow in ways I never imagined possible, and you’ve been such a great part of that. Thank you for taking this journey with me as I hang my head out the car window, the wind blasting my face as I joyfully navigate down this wild and winding road of life.