#48 My Furry Friend

Hey there,

This one is about how you treat others.


My folks took the reins while training our first few furry friends. I was a youngling then, I couldn’t keep up with brushing twice a day. There really wasn’t any sliver of hope for me at that point of time. But the experience they brought to the table resulted in the most well-trained dogs – obedient, respectful and universally loved.

When Bira came into our lives, things started getting precarious. Instead of reasserting control, my mother let go and passed the dreaded baton to me, “You’re a grown up now, you can do this!”

“What in the world?” I whispered.

I won’t sugar-coat how daunting it was. There were days I bawled out… the situation had spun out of control and I had no idea what to do. ‘There’s a reason parents shouldn’t make mistakes like these,’ I introspected. The only words I remember repeating were, “Bad dog. Bira, bad dog.” It was a nightmare.

It took me ages to figure out… this journey is going to be snail-paced. When things aren’t necessarily heading in your favour, you begin changing your methods until something sticks. So that’s exactly what I did. I went into positive reinforcement mode and treated Bira the same way I wanted to be treated by her, paying homage to the renowned phrase, ‘Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others.’

A couple of treats and “Good girl!” and she was starting to obey orders. As time passed, Bira became one of the most well-trained dogs I had ever come across. And that’s purely because of one key difference in mindset.

I was under the impression that I was training Bira, but it was always the other way around.

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