Monday, January 19, 2009

Learning & Adapting

I am learning to adapt.

Heck, aren't we all doing that every day? Sometimes we get tired of adapting, so we cling to things that are familiar just because we want to feel comfortable.

I described myself to a friend the other day as "a shark for learning," meaning I'm always interested in learning new things (and most definitely not interested in repetitive practicing). The more I learn, the more I adapt, and this certainly pertains to how I feed and care for Vida.

I'm often asked "what's the best ________." Fill in the blank with food, supplement, herb, whatever. And so many people are flustered or frustrated when I deflect that question with "it depends on the dog." But I want everyone to know that I also experience that feeling of resistance when the suggestion doesn't match what I believe or am comfortable with. And I must always remember that feeling of mine when I see that look in their eyes that tells me I've hit a wall (of resistance, confusion, frustration..).

So I'm learning to try new things. Now I don't just do this willy-nilly. I research it, learn more, mull it over, consider the options. But then I try it.

For example, I'm always telling people to rotate their "green supplement" (their mixed supplement of choice, usually includes, kelp and other green foods, vitamins, herbs, etc). Yet I had my dog on the same one for over a year straight because I thought it was the best. Now I'm not saying it's not a good supplement, but my mindset closed my eyes to options. And really, what's the worst that could happen? My dog's healthy, and it's easy to see when something isn't agreeing with her, and conversely, when it is. (I say it's easy with her, but really, it should be easy with any animal if you're really paying attention) So I switched, and you know what? She looks even healthier!

Now we can almost never really know exactly what is making our dog glow with health. Heck, it could be just that time of the year, in that year of life, with the whole collection of things that you offer them working together.

All of us should take a good look at our pets and really see them. We may think they look great, but when was the last time we changed anything or tried anything new? When was the last time we learned something new? We should always be looking forward, learning, and adapting.
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