Well… we’d had the cushions a long time… and as we learned from Winifred in the last blog, we should welcome change.  Winifred brought that home to us quite clearly (she is insistent in her teachings, and wants everybody to appreciate them) when she decided that the cushion was clearly boring and needed redesigning – and she’s right; it does look much more exciting and unique now!

Winifred has two specific times of day when she likes to let her inner puppy out to play – one in the morning, just after breakfast; and the other in the late afternoon, before supper.  The rest of the time she spends mostly sleeping at the moment – walks are not yet permitted as she hasn’t had all her vaccinations.  However, we took her out for her first trip around the lanes with Mungo yesterday evening; even being carried her little nose was whiffling interestedly at all the sights and smells she could take in from her vantage point… Robbie the horse was a huge fascination for her!

It’s quite clear that her puppyhood, although never before allowed an outlet, is still within easy reach of her tiny paws… there would have been no toys in the puppy farm, and yet she knew just what to do with the selection in the toy box – and rifled through them all to discover “Rubber Pig” buried and forgotten at the bottom (last played with by Hugo and kept for sentimental reasons – he did used to be “Squeaky Rubber Pig” but… well… things change…).

I believe very firmly that we can’t develop in a strong, congruent manner unless our foundations are secure.  Just like a building, we pass through a variety of stages and challenges throughout our lives, and we have to have a good outcome at each stage in order to keep our building stable… and if we don’t, then psychotherapy can help us to get it back on track.  (If you are curious, there is a lovely model by Erik Erikson that describes this lifelong development.) 

For dogs, of course, psychotherapy is not possible – although dogs tell themselves much less complex stories inside their heads!  Mungo, having spent many more years inside a puppy farm, has a much less stable building than Winifred; even after two years, he still doesn’t know how to play.  Winifred is embracing toys, games and chasing with all her tiny heart – and guess what… she is showing Mungo how it’s done.

Winifred’s Teachings:

  • Unexpected change prevents things from getting stale; be grateful for things that take you outside your comfort zone.
  • Pay attention to the stories you are telling yourself… you don’t have to believe everthing you think.
  • The best resources might be found at the bottom of the toy box, so make sure you dig deep…

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