Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fear and Boldness

Q is at doggie daycare today. I trust that he'll get comfortable and happy there, but he's still kinda anxious. He was pulled in by his collar last time, which added to the anxiety. He seemed more settled when I picked him up later in the day, though also leaped over the fence to reach me when I picked him up, and stayed quite attentively nearby for the rest of the evening. When I took him to daycare this morning, he walked into the building happily and sniffed excitedly through the gate where several dogs came to investigate our arrival, but backed out anxiously when the gal tried to take him in to play. I picked him up and carried him in, which seemed to help... until I left. Oh, the sadness. He did not want to face this without me; he wanted the safety of the familiar.

I, on the other hand, think the doggie daycare place is great. The critters there play together with good folks leading their "pack." They have plenty of water, a clean place to run and jump, and even furniture they're allowed to climb on. I dropped him off with confidence that he would be just fine. And as he begins to feel more settled over time, he will have lots of fun playing there. He will learn to interact with other dogs and will have new opportunities in other places, too.

I've been thinking about Q this morning, about his anxiety and my confidence at the doggie daycare place. It is good to be aware of his fear, and respectful of him in it, to be gentle and kind. It is good, too, to not be ruled by his fear, and to also help him to not be ruled by it.

That is a good reminder as a human being. It is natural to be anxious in new situations, especially when it's unfamiliar and has lots going on. Such situations are often more difficult in times of transition. There is nothing wrong with that fear, and it may be appropriate to engage more cautiously when uncertain, and to seek support from others. It is good to be aware of fear and respectful of fear, both in myself and others, without being ruled by it. Engaging with both caution and boldness, we can learn and grow, and eventually even grow to enjoy the experience.

Oh, and the process can be exhausting -- a nap can work wonders!

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