Letting Go of Anger and Resentment

 

Letting Go of Anger and Resentment Milo is our Teacher

Most people talk about the unconditional love that they benefit from in their relationship with their dog. That’s how it is with Milo, our English Shepherd who just turned one year old. He turns bad days into good ones the moment we come home. No dark mood exists that he can’t brighten.

One of the most important lessons that we’ve learned from Milo is the benefit of forgiveness. Experts say it doesn’t do any good to scold a dog “after the fact” of bad behavior. You have to catch them in the act or just prior to it in order to teach them right from wrong. When Milo ate a section of our carpet, we scolded him but he just looked confused. So, we gave him some affection and we replaced the carpet.

Three weeks ago he started sleeping outside his crate, and two weeks ago we started leaving him home alone outside the crate. Last Tuesday, while we were gone, he ate another spot of carpet. All we could do was glance at the carpet and laugh. It felt great to just immediately let go of whatever angry feelings might have emerged when we realized that we’d soon have more carpet to replace.

On the flip side, Milo can’t stand it when we brush his long, thick, soft coat. He doesn’t like to be corralled or controlled.    Also, the metal teeth of the brush over-stimulate him. The coat brushing often becomes a struggle, with Milo fighting to break loose. Sometimes he even snaps at the hand wielding the brush – although he never actually bites. As soon as the brush gets put away, though, he’s just as happy as ever.

We exchange forgiveness with Milo without hesitation. If only people could behave that way toward one another. We’d have a lot less stress and anger in the world as a result.

Everyone always remarks that Milo is such a beautiful, well-behaved dog. Well, we know the truth of it – he’s awesome, but he can be a lot to handle sometimes! It’s been an incredible first year with Milo. It has evolved into a joyous daily ritual of caring for him and sharing our lives with him. I used to brag that Milo was, “The Prince of the Neighborhood,” because he’s such a handsome dog, and because everyone is so fond of him. The truth is that he’s really the prince of our lives. It’s amazing how he has become such an integral part of our family.

About the Author

Jeffrey Banks lives in Orlando, Florida with the amazing Milo, a one year old English Shepherd.

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