I adopted a puppy five days ago. I have to admit that it has been fun start to a new adventure!
When adopting a new pet, one might have some preconceived expectations about their new best friend and companion. I know I did! Typical expectations people might have of a new dog include:
• To become insta-friends with the new companion.
• To develop immediate mutual loyalty and trust.
• To expect the dog to live up to certain behavioral standards.
• To start enjoying sharing the good times starts upon leaving the animal shelter.
Along the road, these are reasonable expectations to have.
But every dog, like you and me and every other human, is different with their own characteristics, circumstances and dispositions. Each will react differently to the same environment and situation. Each person or animal has a different past, full of baggage and challenges. The bottom line is that your new friend has to learn to live with you as much as you have to learn to live with him. Like in any relationship, you will find that in some moments your expectations are exceeded while in other moments they are not quite met.
It is interesting to note that the experts on human relationships claim that currently the biggest problem in any relationship is expectations. Whether it is a romantic relationship, friendship or a professional one, we frequently expect a little too much too quickly. And that can spell disaster.
So how do you keep yourself from expecting too much too soon? How do you know when to hold on and when to let go? Experts say it all boils down to just a few old fashioned bylaws:
1. Don’t rush but let the relationship deepen slowly.
2. Remain open to those who do not fit your ‘ideal’ not sacrificing your standards.
3. Think about what you bring to the relationship, not what you get from it.
4. Work through problems to have a stronger relationship in the end.
5. Have patience!
Managing your expectations will free you from getting caught up in heartbreak, frustration and distress. Relationships don’t always go as we plan, but if we can learn to deal with our expectations, we can learn how to get the most out of each relationship around us.
I am so grateful for this reminder from my new companion Tonza about expectations. I am looking forward to more learning moments with him.
What is the most memorable lesson your pet has taught you?