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Ruby taught me about trust. And I didn’t like it. I took it very personal and got my feelings hurt. ‘Why do I have to work for it?? People meet me and trust me right away! Why not now??’
Ruby is a dog. She is part lab, part Great Pyrenees, and at least part coyote. You can see the coyote in how she slinks around.
I was told that she liked me right away by her owner, that I got special treatment very quickly. But I guess this wasn’t enough for me. Why am I hurt by her not trusting me immediately? Why did I need it right away? I am used to gaining trust in people quickly. Come to think of it, I’ve done this with other animals too. And if they don’t like me right away I’ll avoid them. Something about it hurts.
Ruby and I would gain ground and I’d glimpse hope of a trusting relationship. Then the next day she barked at me when I came home. I was so hurt. I moved towards her, “Ruby, its me! What’s wrong?” Bark, bark, bark. Her owner would come out and explain, “She’s just doing her job. She always lets me know when someone comes to the house.” I could barely hear that. I was so personally rejected by the actions. Even though it is embarrassing to admit, and Logic would say, “It’s not personal!” I would snap back, “Of course it is!” and then sit in the dirt and cry.
So I decided to reject her. That’ll show her. That was until her owner went out of town and Jeff and I were in charge of the animals. There were two big dogs Ruby and Harvey. And one black, rascally cat Jinx. Something happened when I would walk them. I had seen how their owner handled them; I’d learned about their personalities. I also was an expert in dog behavior because I’ve watched Cesar Milan do it on TV. I knew you had to mean it when you called for Harvey otherwise he wouldn’t follow. He’s a big bear of a dog with bright blue eyes and the alpha of the group. And the first time I found the right deep octave and called for him, he came! Then Ruby followed. As well as that rascal, Jinx! We went for a walk in the big forest of the back yard. It’s incredible to have them follow you without a leash. That bond. When they choose to go with you. This changed the hurt feelings for me. I could see how it wasn’t entirely personal with Ruby. She had an allegiance to her owner and a job to protect the house. She’s also not totally confident. But she does have standards (she’s a Coyote Princess) and wouldn’t follow just anyone.
It melted my heart to see her try and trust me. She would literally shake in her little, white pantaloons with trepidation to risk reaching out her little nose to me.
We understand each other now. She let me in but I had to give it time.
I guess I’m used to the other way around. I’m used to being trusted or I want to be trusted right away. If not I guess I question myself, ‘Am I not trustworthy? Am I not worthy?’ I’m realizing now I may not stick it out with the Ruby’s of the world for fear of rejection. Don’t get me wrong, I will always gravitate towards my people. What has ease for me tends to be right. But I see that Ruby wanted to know me. She wanted to try. But I did have to give a little. You know what it is? I had to take the risk. I had to extend my hand knowing that she may not come towards me. That’s it.
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A therapist in Northern California offering free resources that help you heal your inner child and restore intuition.