Wednesday, 8 June 2011


My friend Lucinda calls it making up a story. You see something, or overhear a comment, and your imagination takes over. Before you know it, you have constructed a scenario, ascribed motives and you know exactly what someone else is really thinking. Or not. Too often I am way down this road, my fantasy is fact and I respond based on what I believe, without ever having checked in with the truth.
My head is full of dog training and I am homing in on the last few exercises which Coco need to perfect to get her gold assessment, so when I saw another woman in the park today, standing resolutely some distance from her stationary dog, I assumed she was training him. After a few moments, the dog ran a quarter of a circle and settled down again, much like sheep-dog trials. I was impressed, especially when he repeated the trick. After a while the dog came over to play with Coco and I approached the woman to express my admiration and to pick up some tips. She was quite surprised when I congratulated her on her dog's obedience. It turned out that my whole story was exactly that - a story. The dog would not come back to her. She had let him off the lead to play and now he would not return. Yesterday, it had taken an hour-and-a-half to get him back!
As I walked away, calling my dog to heel, I chuckled to myself about the absurdity of my feeling so easily intimidated and bested, how quick I was to interpret what I could see as a sign of my own failings. It's not about comparison and I can never know what is going on for someone else unless I ask. It's about doing my own thing as well as I can and being happy with that.

No comments: