My dog had surgery on her paw. She couldn’t climb up stairs wearing the protective donut-of-shame, so I began to carry her.
3 weeks later the donut-of-shame was removed, bandages off. She is back to running around and attacking dogs on the street.
Last night at 4:00am she started crying at the bottom of the stairs (my bedroom is upstairs). I stayed curled up half asleep. More crying. I yelled, “Sammie, stop it. If you can attack another dog, I know you can climb the stairs.” She continued to cry. Pillow over my head. Didn’t work. I grumpily got out of bed and went downstairs. There she was, spinning in circles, tongue hanging out. I carried her up. She hopped in bed and burrowed under the sheets.
I knew this would start happening. I’ve trained her to rely on me to carry her up the stairs and in return, she is training me to continue doing it.
It got me thinking that we train everyone in our lives how to treat us. If there is someone in your life and you don’t like the way they are with you, it’s because you’ve trained them that way. If you have a bunch of takers in your life, it’s because you are a people pleaser. If you don’t like that someone always runs late, it’s because you allow them to be late. The people who show up in your life are a result of your own behavior and actions.
My dog is smart. She has trained me well.
*Excerpt from my book Show Up: Finding Love for Independent Women.