My aha moment came when we were at Lyla's puppy class. It was time to play pass the puppy. All the puppy owners sit in circle and pass their puppy to the next person. This is to get the puppies used to other people touching them. I was panicking. Lyla tends to get mouthy if she gets over stimulated. She did and I panicked.
Then the instructor noticed Lyla's behavior and calmly said, " Lyla is done. It is time for her to go back to Mommy. She is not ready to be is such a large circle." I knew this was true. I know my puppy.
Next, I had a flash back to the days when we first got Lyla and I realized how far she had come. She no longer is like a tornado when we put the leash on her. Most of the time, she is calm and polite with us, instead of drawing blood on the kids and bringing them to tears.
We had invested so much time into Lyla, and we knew what she was capable of and what was a challenge for her. I knew that the pass the puppy game was going to be too much for her. I am able to see the small steps she makes and celebrate, because I have taken the time to know my dog.
I think that many people don't have anyone who takes the time to know them where they are. They do not have anyone who knows them well enough to celebrate the small steps they take and encourage them to keep taking steps.
Today, in puppy class, Lyla almost made it all the way around the circle and I am celebrating!