My Lesson From A Bulldog: Don’t Rush The Process

bulldog image“When you’re here, you’re on dog time,” she not so gently reminded the room full of volunteers. As I sat between two other dog lovers intent on learning how to improve our canine socialization skills at Main Line Animal Rescue the other night, I realized, that if I had a tail, it surely would have been tucked under to its lowest point.

Because just 30 minutes prior, in my failed attempt to get Luka, the English Bulldog, out of her crate and into the field to do her business, I was operating on Shannon time, which went something like this:

  • open crate door, reach for Luka
  • Luka retreats, sticks her lower jaw out in protest
  • climb in crate, on all fours – much to the incredulity of another volunteer witnessing this absurd approach toward getting a shy dog to cooperate
  • attempt to speed things up with a treat: C’mon Luka girl! Yum yum!
  • get collar on, only to witness Luka’s impressive brake system. She is clearly not going anywhere with some idiot human who thinks a treat and pathetic coaxing will do the job

Time. No one, including me, seems to have time anymore. When we want something, we want it now. But as I prepared to teach my 90-minute yoga class this morning, I perused a chapter in one of my favorite books by Baron Baptiste (“40 Days to Personal Revolution”) and thought about my recent lesson from Luka. The chapter is aptly titled, “Don’t Rush the Process.”

I’ve done a pretty good job reminding myself not to rush my yoga practice, or my students’ practice by introducing certain poses too soon, or moving through poses too fast. But how easy it is to forget to take this lesson off the mat, as I learned the hard way volunteering with rescue dogs the other night.

Don’t rush the process. Positive transformation, for the dogs, and me, will happen on their time, not mine.

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