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What I Learned About Dating from My Dog

What I Learned About Dating from My Dog

Sanchez, my nine-year-old Yellow Lab, has a history of wandering. I often joke that he only looks like a Lab, but heís really a Hound. His nose just takes him exploring, and all of a suddenÖ. poof, heís disappeared. Iíd be embarrassed to tell you how many times Iíve lost him on off-leash hikes. So, what do I do when he gets lost? I, of course, go looking for him and call him. Most of the time it works to get him back, but it doesnít help prevent him from doing it again.

Iíve been enjoying many dog hikes with a new man in my life who has a remarkable relationship with his dog. He suggested that I stop calling Sanchez, but instead start hiding from him and heíll come and find me. Itís not only working, but itís really funÖ for both of us. When hiking in the woods, I now let Sanchez wander off. Since Gina is always looking for me (she is female after all), sheís a dead giveaway when I hide from Sanchez. So, I grab her, hold her close and we go hide behind a tree together. Sanchez panics a little when he goes looking for me and Iím nowhere in sight. Itís only a matter of time before he finds me. And the look on his faceÖ complete surprise and joy! Itís turned into a fun game of hide-and-seek for all of us.

Fun, but not always easy. After a silent meditation walk the other day, Sanchez wandered off into a park while I was putting Gina in the car. He saw me getting ready to leave, looked up at me, and then went back to exploring where his nose delighted in new smells. I resisted the temptation to call him. It was very uncomfortable for me, but I just got in my car and drove away. With my heart racing, I left him and drove around the block. It wasnít long before he started looking for me. I gave it a few minutes more and drove back. Lo and behold, he saw me and came running to the car. Truth be told, it probably didn’t hurt that it was getting close to dinner time.

Recently, Iíve realized that Iíve been doing the same while datingÖ. calling too much, chasing after him when he doesnít call, text, etc. This time Iím learning from my experience with Sanchez. If I can teach Sanchez new behaviors at his age, surely I can learn them too. If I stop chasing after my new guy, he comes running. And, we both enjoy the connection more. I used to think this was all a silly game and I was too old to play. But I also used to think that Sanchez was just the way he was, and at age nine it was too late to change old patterns. I now realize that there is no age limit to creating new behaviors and animals are always teaching us valuable life lessons. And, at any age, both men and dogs love the thrill of the chase. And women enjoy being pursued, even in middle-age years.

Game on for both Sanchez and the new guy! Come and find me!

******

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dating, Dogs, Humor & Inspiration, Love, Pets, Relationships, , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

32 comments

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9:47AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Not quite sure healing or coming on command is what any relationship needs but I can say that when the benefits on not responding outway the rewards, then there will be a breakdown in results. Another possibility is when the desired response is less than fully re-enforced or if the subject has learned that compliance is optional, again results will vary.
I guess it's fair to evaluate how effective/beneficial our communication is with one another. Are we clear as we could be? How authentic or genuine is our message? Are we an equally capable listener as we are speaker? What are the "rewards" that are being positively reinforced?

9:46AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Not quite sure healing or coming on command is what any relationship needs but I can say that when the benefits on not responding outway the rewards, then there will be a breakdown in results. Another possibility is when the desired response is less than fully re-enforced or if the subject has learned that compliance is optional, again results will vary.
I guess it's fair to evaluate how effective/beneficial our communication is with one another. Are we clear as we could be? How authentic or genuine is our message? Are we an equally capable listener as we are speaker? What are the "rewards" that are being positively reinforced?

10:36AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

thanks for sharing

10:54AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks, interesting story. Glad it works for her and all involved. She is right about one thing, we can all learn from animals, and we are never to old to learn. Hmmm....guess that is two things.

8:45AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Loved the article,thanks!

6:57AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Animals are smarter then peopel:-)

3:45AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

:-)

3:11AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Chasing after the dog or the boyfriend, or whoever, shows anxiety. Best to not be anxious, but rather, to relax.

12:44AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

...and what I learned about cooking from my cat.

12:12AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Interesting parallel...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

TY for sharing. Those poor chickens :( :(

I take my own book or handiwork when I go to the doctors...

Pitties are the best dog! And as others have said, the fault is never the pups', it's the people's!…

Hummmm.. maybe this means that the sex isn't very good...

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