Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It takes time

Recently I pulled my hamstring on my left leg. I thought it would heal by itself and so continued walking on it, working on it. It just got worse, until the pain was so bad I had to go to the doctor. I was desperate. The doctor chastised me for overworking it and prescribed two weeks of complete bed rest, physical therapy exercises, ice packs, and an anti-inflammatory Aleve.

After just one week I was already starting to heal, the pain left the building and I decided to go outside and resume some much needed yard work. Sure enough it took just one twist and I was back where I started one week ago. Why didn't I listen, why do I think I can heal in a day or week or even two weeks?

Then it hit me. This is exactly how people think. They get a dog. The dog starts having challenging behaviors and they think it will just go away. It gets worse until something occurs and they become desperate. It is out of their realm of expertise and that is when they seek help.

In their desperation they do exactly what the behavior trainer requires for exactly two weeks. Then something happens. You mean the behavior just doesn't go away? You mean, it takes time? You mean I shouldn't have taken my dog reactive dog to the dog park? But we were doing so well!

We all have to learn this simple lesson whether we are working with dogs, cats, birds or dealing with trauma to body parts, because the bottom line is it all takes time.

Moving too fast, means a definite regress. Moving too slow, means missing opportunities. Doing the exercises, having the proper tools, listening to the professionals, and taking the time and yes spending the money (last time I checked doctors aren't free) therein lies the magic bullet whether healing behavior challenges in canines or healing body parts in people.