Better Dog Better Human

I absolutely love this series and all the wisdom Cesar Millan shares. We gave the cats a bath today. I knew it would be a test of what I have learned watching the show.

Magically, the experience was a total transformation from the last time! It’s been years since we even had the nerve to try.

I made a plan, then calmly and confidently executed it. I wanted to avoid being anxious, rushed, worried or upset. I set the tone for everything to be okay.

Cesar says, “no talk, no touch, no eye contact,” when a dog is excited. I decided not to soothe/negotiate with the cats using my voice, because I didn’t want reinforce their freak out by telling them it’s okay.

When I drove them to the vet last week, Elvis protested the whole way and my verbal reasoning with him just increased the intensity of his meows. Of course he’s quiet as a church mouse as soon as we go inside.

Cats know how to manipulate for energy just as well as anybody else. Anytime I walk into the kitchen, they appear in the blink of an eye and all of a sudden I’m tripping! They are working me for a settlement and their compensation includes bonito flakes!

The Strategy

We started with Biggie Smalls. He is a gem and very easy to handle. I usually depend on the art of surprise to get Elvis in the tub before he knows what’s happening. Unfortunately, Elvis’s reaction was teaching Biggie to throw a fit as well. I wanted to reverse this trend. I had to surrender my fearful approach and move toward a more cooperative encounter.

Biggie did great. Elvis was outside the door when Biggie emerged and it surprised me when he did not run off. Bonito flakes didn’t hurt. I picked Elvis up and let him down in the bathroom without too much of a protest. I gave him a minute and then calmly picked him up and slowly, but smoothly placed him in the water.

I let go so he did not feel forced but kept my hand alongside to steady him. He stood there bewildered, but no tantrum! No claws! No screaming! Who is this cat? We got some displeased meows, but none of the intensity of his panicked protests of the past. Wow. The process was easy and dare I say enjoyable? Amazing.

Calm confident leadership allows you to create space, own space and set boundaries. It creates calm surrender in our pets by relaxing their brains to zero. Train the mind. Workout the body.

When emotions are pent up, they can be redirected and explode on someone else close to you. When Biggie chases Elvis around, I take it as a sign that he needs to have his energy drained through play.

Energy affects outcomes. Whether you have a dog or not, this show teaches us how to set boundaries with trust, respect and love and make our homes harmonious for all the creatures who inhabit them.

For the birds

Busy season is over and I’m enjoying backyard bird watching again. A towhee came running down the wall, chased by another, as always. (Eating the mantis aka my spiritual advisor gave em a good power up.)

The starlings are roosting in the saguaro. Their babies chirp as the sun sets.

A woodpecker drops in on the palm tree, just under another starling in it’s nest. Treetop neighbors.

Short Walk

You know it’s been a long week when your wash your face with toothpaste and don’t even realize it until you’re about to brush your teeth with the face wash. Just throw the house out the window. My face was minty fresh- I’ll tell you that!

Jewel of the Creek