Puppies Are Not Good Buddhists, And Neither Am I


Frida has been with us for two weeks now. She is wonderful. She and Sadie play together throughout the day. Sadie hasn’t played with another dog in years, so this is a delightful surprise. Frida also lets me know, loudly and definitively, when she is unhappy. She is especially unhappy when she is in her x-pen in the kitchen and everyone else has left the room. She is a herd dog after all, and she is supposed to be with us at all times. She needs to let us know that she is suffering if she is not with us. Over and over. While I am showering, and getting dressed, and you name it. She is getting better about this but she has tried very hard to train me through not so positive methods to behave differently in the mornings. This is not a puppy who will always go with the flow, at least when it comes to being by herself. She does not want to, “be here now,” she wants to, “be there now!”

Instead of enjoying my time with the dogs and the beautiful day, I was getting grumpier and grumpier.

Glenn Geffcken, my branding coach, website developer, and all around mentor, told me I needed a better photo of Sadie for my blog post about sniffing walks. So this morning when Sadie, Frida, and I went for a walk, I took my camera instead of my phone.

Frida sat in front of me, looking incredibly adorable. I whipped out my camera and leaned over to take a shot. She leaped up and smeared nose stuff all over the lens. I swore and tried to wipe it clean on my shirt without scratching it. My non-Buddhist suffering had just begun.

We walked down the lane towards my neighbor’s field, where the dogs like to run, sniff, and watch birds. When we got there, both dogs got busy doing dog things. I turned my camera back on, determined to get some good shots. I put Sadie’s leash on her to get some photos of an on-leash sniffing walk. She stopped walking, stopped sniffing, and just stood there, looking off in the distance. I waited. I waited some more. No movement. I took off her leash and she started to sniff again. So much for sniffing walk pictures.

Frida was looking particularly cute again, so I turned the camera towards her. She dug in to some leaves, pulled out a huge piece of poop and proceeded to eat it with great gusto. I tried to grab her and realized at the same time that I was making a grave mistake. I had just taught her poop was something I wanted to take away from her and she should run! Which she did. While chewing on the poop.

I started to laugh. I was doing what Frida did earlier that morning! I was wanting to be where I was not. I had gotten some lovely shots, but the photos I wanted to take just were not going to happen. And instead of enjoying my time with the dogs and the beautiful day, I was getting grumpier and grumpier.

With the camera turned off, we spent some time with the dogs doing dog stuff in that luscious green field and headed back down the lane towards home.


About the Author

Joanne Ometz is a holistic dog trainer in Durham NC. She uses only humane, science based, force free methods to achieve successful outcomes with dogs of all breeds and sizes.