Mirror on my behaviours.

Another fascinating aspect of how we learn from our dogs.

The last week has been challenging, to say the least.


The biggest winter storm in ages hit this part of Southern Oregon last Thursday, the 20th.  That day we lost our power to the home around 6.30 pm.  We only had it restored around 4pm last Sunday, the 23rd.  That meant no access to our well, no cooker, no heating in the house and … well you get the picture.


The wet snow, some 9 inches or so, brought down trees across the property including one that blocked our driveway.

So where’s this leading?

Just that there have been times when I have been irritable to the extreme.  My normal patience with the dogs has been lacking from time to time.  Moments when I have pushed a dog away from me, or shouted at another when the barking was getting to me.

The dogs have been so forgiving, so tolerant of my irritability.  I was able to reflect in my quieter moments about my behaviours.  Able to see how well or otherwise I coped.  The dogs offered a mirror to me.  Allowing me a gently chastisement that getting angry with the world around me was my problem.  It was me that was ‘choosing’ my actions and behaviours.

The dogs also chose to respond to me.  Here’s how Hazel responded.


Here’s how Dhalia responded.


Finally, here’s how that grand old man Pharaoh responded.


All of them offering me the message: chill out, Paul!

11 thoughts on “Mirror on my behaviours.

  1. Yes well I’m not surprised you were feeling tetchy! We all do during the run-up to Christmas. However, you have had an unfair share of challenges since you moved in. Perhaps the change in the year coming will change your luck. Best wishes, Omas


  2. As I have had reason to ponder the following myself recently, I hope you won’t mind me sharing it with you and all your readers…
    ““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[“ (Matthew 6:25-27)


  3. Hi Paul, I sure can relate to this post, and I have power. I may not have internet for a while and the thought of that makes me irritable.

    Taking care of Tiny has been hard and at times, he barks loudly in my face. Every time I eat he does this. It’s hard not to get upset sometimes, but they are forever forgiving. My Ruthie girl curls up in a ball and Tiny finally gives up on my food (as long as I go get him a morsel of his). Dogs are the best friends in the world when it comes to forgiveness. I hope things are better for you now.

    Wishing you and your gang a wonderful New Year! I look forward to more photos of your dogs too 🙂



    1. Thank you Michelle, thank you so much. Yes, life is returning to normal at last. The gift from these interesting times is that we are more aware, wiser I guess, about the true depth of the change from our life in Arizona to this deeply rural life in Southern Oregon. Have a very kind and gentle New Year.


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