Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Day I Let My Dog Jump On the Bed

The only place in the entire house where my dog, Chi, is not allowed is on my bed. Of course, that means it's her favorite spot.
I can always tell she's been there. She has a special way of rearranging the pillows. She dumps the pretty decorative ones on the floor. (My husband's not fond of those either).
Chi doesn't even try to hide her behavior. If I find her on the bed, she stays put until I tell her to leave. When she jumps down, she makes it clear she's not happy. Her protests are always the same. She paces and shakes her collar. She sighs. She tosses her head up in the air and says "rooo rooo rooo".
A few days ago, I'm sitting on the bed reading, when she jumps up. Instead of going through our usual routine, I very softly say "just this once". I even pet her to let her know I'm serious.
While I go back to my book, she curls up on the corner of the bed, staring at me. I read a few chapters, trying to ignore her watching my every move.
The moment my stretched out leg accidentally touches her, she jumps off the bed and starts her protests.
"That's not what happened," I tell her. "I didn't chase you. You were able to stay this time."
She begins to pace.
"You're creating this situation. You decided it was going to go bad before it did."
I pat her spot, inviting her back. "It's okay. Really."
She's too busy doing her head toss to listen.
"That's why you were staring at me. You were expecting the worst. It didn't have to be this way. You could have stayed."
She answers with a deep and strangely human-sounding sigh.
There's no way she's getting back on that bed.
Poor Chi. She made up her mind about how things were going to be, and was unable to accept change -- even when it was a positive one.
Sometimes, I'm like that too. I think we all are. We assume a certain outcome based on what's happened in the past.
Old patterns are hard to break. But if we expect the same end result, it will happen over and over again. Chi inspired me. I'm going to try to release old expectations and see what the future will bring. Who knows, maybe I'll end up in a place I never expected to be.


Anonymous said...

Love the hat on Chi, he has such an attitude! Changing thought patterns = creativity. Absolutely.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

good reminder!

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Thanks for this Nan...Not only for the wisdom you are imparting (I just started submitting again), but for the laughs about your dog. We just got a dog at our house and he has claimed my bed...and I'm letting him!

nanmarino said...

Karen, Yes. Chi does have attitude and she wears hats well.
Thanks TerryLynn
Stephanie, Hurray! So glad to hear you're submitting!

Nikki said...

What a great post! If you substitute the word "son" for "dog" and change a few other details, it sounds like what I've been trying to do with my kid.
Maybe I should think of adopting this attitude with my writing as well...

C.R. Evers said...

lol! I love sassy dogs that know their own mind. She's a cutie! Thanks by stopping by my blog! :0)

Vonna said...

Adorable post!

Lisa Gail Green said...

You know - that's actually a psychological principle called learned helplessness! Poor Chi. :)

nanmarino said...

Thanks Vonna and CR.
Nikki your "son"/"dog" switch comment made me laugh.
Lisa, Poor Chi. Hmm. Must find a way to empower her-and yet help her understand the reason for the rules. Ha!