I have just returned from a walk with mine and my brother’s dogs. I was umm-ing and ah-ing about whether to take both of them out together as the last time I did was not fun at all… They were eager to get at everything, tripping me up, twisting up leads, sniffing each other’s wee and then weeing over those wees. But I thought, fuck it, everyone else is away and this will save me going out twice. I was expecting another nightmare but was very pleasantly surprised.
Both dogs were a bloody delight. But is that because they’ve suddenly changed who they are? No, but when I think about it, I have.
I used to fake my confidence, and the dogs bloody knew it. Dogs always know. They knew they could take of advantage of me and boss me around because there was a huge void where the trust in myself should be. And if I don’t trust me, two poorly trained dogs are going to either.
But today I know myself. I have spent years working on finding out who I am, learning how to trust myself, and recognising what my truth in the world is. And today was the first time I really understood what that means. It means a quiet, and certain confidence. It’s being a leader without having to wear a special badge or having a fancy title. It means rarely needing to vocalise my boundaries and expectations, but when I do both people (and animals apparently) notice. And it shows in everything I do, even if I hadn’t really paid attention to it creeping up on me.
Is the dog thing perfect yet? Fuck no. By the end of the walk, one was pulling as he was eager to get home, and I thought I’d need to carry the Boxer the last 100m – but it’s getting there, just like me.