I love my dogs very much. Just watching them play brings to me a joy that I cannot even describe. I have also found that I can learn much about myself by observing my friends, the dogs. When I first met Shilo, the female dog, I saw that she had an intensity about her that was really frightening. I knew that she had just come from a very abusive situation.
I was very afraid that I might not be able to handle her aggressive behaviors, especially since her instincts were so intense and instant. I realized that her aggression stemmed from fear and insecurity - (good mirror!). As our relationship grew, so did my love for her and also my fear. I was absolutely terrified that she would attack somebody and even more terrified that because of this I would lose her or she would be killed.
What I have come to see is that when my fear and insecurity escalates, so does hers and she in turn becomes more aggressive. However, if I do not allow myself to get carried away with potential fears and keep myself calm and confident, it has the same effect on her. So in working with her aggression I am in essence working on myself and my own issues of trust. Another element that has become apparent to me in working with Shilo is the need to live in the now, rather than being stuck in the past with fears of the future.