When my dogs were young, I took them to obedience school. The wrong schools, as it turned out. The positive reinforcement school didn’t work out for rebellious young Ash, but would have been perfect for skittish Indigo. The strict disciplinarian class was totally opposite, but unfortunately Indigo was the one enrolled there.
In both classes, one of the homework assignments was to have the dog sit and stay while you walked to the other end of the room. The dog should stay where you left her, coming only when called.
I thought my dogs were fairly well behaved, and they are, without question, the sweetest things. But, I never actually trained them to stay. It looked like staying, so long as I called them before their patience ran out. But really, all they were doing is waiting. If I took longer than 5-10 seconds to call them, they’d just get up and come to claim their cookies.
This morning I realized, not for the first time, that I’m just like my dogs. I fool myself into thinking I am being patient, but when I reach my limit – or rather, when the time when I think something should have happened passes with nothing happening – I’m forced to admit that I’ve just been faking. I’m not actually patient. I’m just able to stay in one spot longer before I freak out, looking for the metaphorical cookie.
This whole seeing clearly thing is a total pain some days.