“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” 

Learn to Accept and Love What You Have

Wikipedia defines acceptance as;

“Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit. The concept is close in meaning to ‘acquiescence’, derived from the Latin ‘acqui?scere’ (to find rest in).”

When it comes to human relationships most of us know and believe that we are supposed to accept one another as we are. We are not going to try to change that other person or expect them to change to suit our needs. We enter a relationship with a person with an open mind and often accept the good and bad. We also know that some things are impossible to change.

As I sit here, home on a Saturday night, trying to bond with my new foster dog, I find myself wondering, how and why did this little guy end up in a shelter? Did the person’s life situation change? Is it because he barks and isn’t potty trained? Or was it that the expectations the person had for this dog were unattainable and the lack of acceptance for who this animal really is lost him his home?

Sometimes I wonder, why is it so hard for people to accept their dog? I work with people who love their dogs every day, yet they are constantly focusing on the negative and trying to change that dog’s behavior. What if, like people, some things about your dog can not be changed?

It’s very human to want what you don’t have or try to make something better, but often when we do this to another living being we lose the authenticity of the relationship that brought us together in the first place.

As a dog trainer I support modifying a dogs behavior to help that animal live more peacefully in the human world and elevate the stress that some negative behaviors have caused the owner; however, there are limitations. Training a dog is about give and take. As we work on changing some things we must accept what we can not change. We must learn to appreciate our dogs as individuals and appreciate their silly, yet sometimes frustrating, doggy behaviors. Sometimes what we first see as less desirable flaws in another being are also the very parts that attract us to that being. A large component of modifying and healing a relationship between two living beings is to accept things we can not change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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