"... when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Recently, there has been a thread going in Training Levels group about "food motivation". This is a topic I feel strongly about, having spent years struggling to use food to motivate a dog who wasn't interested in being motivated by food (when outside) before finally accepting that it was never going to work.
As usual, I heard that I didn't do it right, that in all their years they had never met such a dog, that if I had done this or that then my dog would be over his "food issue", and even that I might have caused the assumed "food issue".
As usual, I found myself sitting there, wondering why I got sucked up (or caused) the thread to begin with.
I am at peace with my dog. I have nothing to prove. I'm not looking for solutions. I know those sharing their thoughts are well-meaning. And (perhaps most importantly) I know they are wrong about my dog.
So why does it get a rise out of me every time? Why can't I just sit there, shake my head, and pass those threads by?
I think it's because there might be someone, somewhere, with a dog like mine, who has yet to reach the "at peace" stage of accepting the dog they have. Someone sitting there, feeling like a failure, because they are unable to do what "everyone" is telling them is possible to do.
I'm also saddened that there are so many otherwise wonderful clicker-folks out there who can't envision a world where there exists a dog (and perhaps there really is only one) who won't work for food and are willing to be hurtful to another (probably without realizing they are doing so) in order to say so.
Perhaps I'm the same way, just heading in the opposite direction.
Once again, I've probably said too much, too often, too loud and so I'm going to try to just let this thread pass by. Once again, I'm going to hope I stay out of the next thread of a similar nature.
... and yet, what of those poor lost souls, as I once was, who are left to think that if only they tried this, or did that, or... or...
Perhaps the best thing is just to reply by private email - for my opinions to be listened to or not as the recipients see fit. Maybe next time I feel the urge to plunge in I'll think to reread this post and realize that some things just can't be changed and move on.
Oh well, back to training - The Canine Good Citizen test is creeping ever closer and there is still much to be done.
I will now go and love the dogs I have, for the time we have with them is far too short to waste.