This is Bailey. I'm sitting here with him sleeping at my feet and wondering if the relationships people create with their pets mimic their relationships with humans they love?
As a "fixer" I have had the habit of doing everything for others and neglecting my own needs. This has consequences. Some of them not so good. The first is that I've taken on the responsibility for the happiness of other people. Which allows me to feel VERY IMPORTANT - but wears me out. It is impossible to carry the burden, and the results are disastrous. The OTHERS begin to rely on me for little thing, unable to make simple decisions or carry out simple tasks without consultation. Truth is, they are more than capable when pushed into a corner, but are so accustomed to me fixing, that they have come to expect it. It's quite a surprise when I don't come through and leaves them floundering until they get their sea legs.
In much the same way I have enabled my dog. He, like the OTHERS, knows that I will fix every little thing in his life. When he whines enough, he gets his way. Food, treats, a walk. He even tells me when I need to get up in the morning. When we go for our evening walk, he determines the route. When I try to turn back, he stands like a stone, legs locked, allowing no deviation from his chosen path. And I laugh a little, and allow him to have his way. I like that he has a mind of his own. And unlike with the OTHERS, I don't really mind it. He has been a loving constant for the last twelve years. He gives back what the OTHERS don't. And I think in his own canine way, he really appreciates it. I think I will keep him, despite the fact that I no longer choose relationships with needy humans.
My daughter has a way of bringing dangerous relationships into her life. She likes to live on the edge. It's no surprise that she has chosen a dangerous dog to love. He can be sweet, but he's always unpredictable, and is easily provoked. He has bitten her foot more than once - she admits he's dangerous, but is unwilling to put an end to their relationship. He is much like her string of boyfriends. They too are dangerous - and they bite and cause her pain. They are easily provoked, yet she goes back for more. She says her next dog will be a gentle one, a loving companion. My wish for her is that she makes the same choice when it comes to humans.