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All fear must be cast out; it should never exist in the human mind and is only possible when we lose sight of our Divinity. It is foreign to us because as Sons of the Creator, Sparks of Divine Live, we are invincible, indestructible and unconquerable. Dr. Bach

Dogs are good at picking up on our emotions. It’s one of the things we love about them. Can our emotions affect our dogs?

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come.

My little dog makes a big fuss every time she hears the basement door open. She barks at the newest member of our family when she sees him. If someone is home whenever someone else comes in, she barks, and she doesn’t like to see people leave.

She starts waiting for my son and daughter to get home at about four o’clock. I’m sure we are part of the problem, are we the whole problem? Yesterday I bought Bach’s Flower Remedy for animals.

I do not consider myself an anxious person. Yet somehow I do believe my little dog is a mirror. I don’t sit on the step waiting in anticipation until my kids come home, yet I always feel a little easier when I know they made it home safe and sound. Is this being anxious?

I’m reading an anxious mind is a strong, powerful mind. An anxious mind can outrun, out power and outwit rationality and logic. Can we harness the strength and power of our fiercely protective mind to work for us instead of against us?

When the brain is oversensitive to a threat, it puts us on high alert even when there is no need to be. This is when anxiety becomes intrusive and hard to live with. It turns from the gentle security guard who shows up when needed, to the crasher who steals our joy and tells stories about nameless dangers.

Part of my dog’s problem is a habit. I wish I could just tell my dog, you are safe, you are secure. This behavior of hers is the excitement in her life. Why would she want to give it up?

Paradoxically it seems the more we try to change something the more energy we give it. It is very hard to ignore a barking dog. I believe she would protect us with her life. We don’t need the kind of protection she wants to give. She loves to have something to patrol. All twelve pounds of her protect us. She doesn’t know she’s a little dog. She is fiercely loyal, protective, gentle and loving. All she wants is a little love and attention, to be constantly at our side, a bit of cheese, and a potato chip now and then.

I’m looking up Cesar’s Way, Dealing with dog separation anxiety. He says there is real separation anxiety and simulated separation anxiety. I think we have a problem with simulated separation anxiety. If my husband and I go out and come back in together she doesn’t bark or act badly. If I come in alone and my husband comes in after I’ve shut the door. She barks and carries on.

Cesar says we need to let our dog know what is expected of them. Our dogs are not happy if they believe they are in control. This may be part of the problem we have. Perhaps we need to get in the habit of making her do something before she gets something? Maybe I need to get her crate out and put her in it when people are expected home? Maybe I haven’t been a good pack leader?

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. Roger A. Caras

Cesar says the goal is to have our dog accept all the normal everyday movements, noises, and happenings within our home. It is not necessary for her to be involved in everything because we are the ones in charge.

Learned behavior is probably what we are dealing with. I have allowed her to develop bad habits. She gets attention and even bad attention is rewarding because she gets noticed.

I was talking with my brother who just acquired a new puppy. He said, “it’s bad when a dog is smarter than its owner.” This is my problem, I have to fix it. It is hard to believe we cause the problems in our life. When we accept the truth we can change them.

My dog is teaching me things I didn’t want to know. Many of the lessons we get in life are not welcome. Only after dealing with what we can no longer ignore do we understand the worth of the lesson.

Maybe next year or next month I will be looking at this opportunity and challenge with gratitude. Being a good pack leader is an ongoing challenge. I have to step up and be the pack leader my dog needs. I owe it to her, myself, and the rest of the family.

I’ve seen a look in dog’s eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically, dogs think humans are nuts. John Steinbeck

Becoming a Pack Leader: Cesar Millan’s Mastering Leadership Series Volume 2

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