Tuck and I are still figuring each other out. Our relationship is three-and-a-half months old, and we've had challenges unique to us. The bonding process with each dog is different, and while Tuck irrevocably loves me, he's annoying, brash, and hasty. His idea of loving me is mauling my face while I'm laying in bed, and his inability to be still makes him chew (important) things throughout the house.
But have I mentioned he loves me?
He and I ran a new route, and with him on a leash. He's an expert on a leash with minor corrections needed intermittently, but mostly praise dished out. For all his clumsiness, he was actually a pleasant running partner, and he taught me something.
Have I mentioned how my animals do that occasionally?
We ran across a bridge and the bridge barrier had large holes cut out in it. For whatever reason, these holes scared the shit out of him and our smooth run was halted when he refused to take another step. He slunk back against his collar and tried to get on the other side of me.
I stopped and gently manuevered him back into position at my left side and stood there for a minute, letting him recover mentally next to the barriers. We started again, he slunk into my legs again, we stopped again. On the third try, he stayed in the heel position, his eyes darting warily over to the barriers.
He saw them coming on our way back and knew we had to cross the same bridge with the same terrifying holes cut in the barriers. He kept his eyes on my face, only shying away from the barriers when he broke his gaze and looked at the holes. My voice reassured him and he would avert his eyes back to my face. As long as he was watching my face, he was courageous.
We made it. I turned around and we walked across the bridge twice more, him exercising his mental technique and conquering whatever scared him shitless over those holes.
His method inspired these thoughts the rest of our run home.
What are my fears? My random, seemingly harmless fears that jump out of nowhere, insignificant in their make up, but enough to cause my steps to falter?
What do I have my eyes set on to help me conquer those fears? Who is my master who I irrevocably trust to provide the steering hand, the face of confidence I draw positive energy from?
Who/what's my master?
And we're back from our run. He's chewing rocks and eyeing my dust pan.
I'm still asking myself questions.