Monday, September 28, 2009

We Should All Behave More LIke Our Dogs

It has been a somewhat sad week, as a professional organization to which I belong is currently being torn to shreds over an attempt to achieve transparency and competency. Though this is a national organization, it is far from large in the scheme of things and only really has any importance to its members. Yet the board has been torn apart by threatening behavior from those no longer in power, and it is right now unclear whether or not the organization will continue to exist.
Years ago, I swore off ever being on another board anywhere at any time because of how I was treated as the president of a small, local, inconsequential dog club. A process server was sent to my house on a Sunday, after a meeting was held illegally (my best friend, the secretary of the organizaiton, was not informed of the meeting). Similar things are happening now with this national organization.
And so I have to ask - can't we learn anything from our canine companions? Both of the organizations I am referencing have to do with dogs. Yet some people involved with them appear to be incapable of showing any deference to leadership, having a brief spurt of snarlng and then letting bygones be bygones, or working for the collective good.
Contrary to what some "trainers" proclaim, dogs don't wake up each morning plotting to take over the household. If the leadership is doing a good job of providing the food and goodies, a soft place to lie, and an entertaining outing or two, the dogs are generally pretty content to be followers. Once in a while, if the leaders have been a bit lax, a dog may push for more attention or exercise, and that is a good thing. We can all use a reminder now and then. But when the leaders are doing their job well, the dogs pretty much go along for the ride.
The efforts my dog makes to communicate with me are quite extraordinary at times. And it shows me that I could put more thought and effort into my communication efforts with others.
The joy he shows when words or actions let him know that an outing is in the offing is so pure, I wish I could attain it on such a regular basis. I'm getting better at that one, but still have a long way to go.
He is at times, I'm sure, disappointed in me, but he rarely complains. He usually goes and chews on a hard toy or tears up a stuffed toy. I've gotten fairly good at that one, but this latest organization flap is really testing my endurance.
I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point. We are a flawed species with an inflated self-opinion. We could learn a lot from our dogs.

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