Then there’s his attitude to life. Ray is very happy when being given a treat ……. any treat!
Naturally, there is a hierarchy of desired treats however, he will wag his tail for one piece of dry kibble. His tail may wag a little more vigorously with a piece of salmon being offered, but he is happy with dry kibble. Are we as easily pleased?
Training with treats was an education because, while I could see the obvious beneficial results, I just had to ask “So aren’t we simply bribing him to respond appropriately, and won’t we always be bribing him?” As most of you would already know, the answer was “No. The treats can slowly be withdrawn.” Ray’s view of the world is simply that “If I do a certain thing, I get a treat”. This is later followed by “Oh …no treat this time. Well perhaps next time!” What better example of positive thinking is there?
I must remember these lessons when my world does not perform as planned; When we run out of milk and the stores are closed; When the cable service to our tv is down for 30 minutes; When the bus is late again; When an emergency vehicle messes up the traffic light sequence so I have to wait; When we find dog poop on our front grass; When the pc takes forever (approx. 10 seconds) to save a file.
It seems to me that, in the overall scheme of things, we spend far too much time being frustrated with circumstances of minimal importance. Perhaps we should simply focus on what we do have , rather than what we do not have.
So I am out of milk? Well that rules out a coffee, but I have tea!
Cable is down again? Listen to music; compose a Post; do the dishes; tidy up; play with Ray; talk!
Bus is late? Start a conversation with somebody who is also waiting for the bus. Ponder life!
Traffic lights messed up? Enjoy the fact that I can relax until things start moving again!
Dog poop on the grass? Dispose of it!
PC taking forever? Have a good stretch; Make a drink!
Two final thoughts!
I was introduced, many years ago, to the concept of putting a value on life’s frustrations. This was done with one simple question to ask myself “Is this event going to have any significant impact on my future?” If the answer is “No”, then put it into perspective and move on.
The second thought was simply to look to Ray for answers. There will be many questions that are beyond his scope of understanding, but something as simple as resting on a rock?