We have had a day without t’interweb, with the power going off and on and we have had a few bursts of thunder and lightning.
Not much fazes Mr Bear any more, but he does not like the strong wind (he even walks away from his own!) and he does not like the sound of thunder.
So, we have occupied ourselves.
Mr Bear had a lot of energy, that’s what ‘fear’ is. Its emotional energy that’s experienced physically after a rush of chemicals is released into the brain. It’s easy for the energy of fear to manifest in negative responses, but in a situation like today’s if that energy is channelled, gently and in a way that’s driven by kindness and fun, it can quickly shift.
It’s often thought that the opposite of love is hate, but really, the opposite of love is fear. So today, we channelled our energy; after all, we love our dogs don’t we? We have to find a way to communicate with them that all is well, that they’re safe.
So, we started by doing some easy training games, things that Mr Bear is really good at so he succeeded, quickly and easily. We did some hand target games, some sit-stays, down-stays and our three-cup trick. There’s a treat under one cup, I move them around and he guesses where the treat is, fun times!
This wasn’t about him learning anything other than he’s safe and he has nothing to worry about.
We could have chillaxed on the sofa, but where would his energy have gone? Mr Bear loves curling up on the sofa as much as the next dog, but not when he’s on high alert and pumped full of fear chemicals. That energy has to go somewhere.
We’re chillaxing on the sofa now and I’m hugely grateful to Storm Ciara for the gift of Bear-time. I probably wouldn’t have had this much focused time with him if it was a normal electricity and t’interweb filled day. I would have spent some of that time working, scrolling and maybe had a cheeky hour of Netflix.
It has been a timely reminder about priorities.