Recently, I took Rico and Whiskey to visit my elderly uncle, who lives on a farm. It’s smaller, with a quintessential red barn, a field that still carries hidden scents of cows long gone, a meandering creek, various old chicken coops now occupied by several ducks and geese, and, of course, a resident old person.
In other words, it’s dog heaven. (Rico LOVES old people.)
Because the ducks live next to the house, Rico and Whiskey headed straight there as soon as their feet hit the ground.
Thankfully, as much as he love those duckies, Rico accepts the disappointing fact he cannot go near them. Ever.
I hoped the lure of the water would make up for it.
For weeks leading up to our visit, I kept thinking about how much fun Rico and Whiskey will have getting into that cool water, lapping it up, and splashing around. I knew Rico couldn’t handle the distance or the hill to get there, so my brother worked hard to create a dirt road we could use to drive a truck to creek side. He even cleared old brush so the dogs could more easily access the water’s edge.
Whiskey dove in. After some struggle with the descent, Rico got his front paws in for a drink. And then …
This was more fun in my imagination.
I tried to convince him to get back in. But, from atop the field, the enticing call of the ducks echoed off the various buildings of the farm, pinging right into his perked ears.
Suddenly, the limpy, gimpy, bunny-hopping Rico marched like a soldier up the hill to the duck yard. No stopping to sniff. No whining. No breaks for his achy paws. I knew he had to be uncomfortable. But he had a mission.
Moving mountains to help him enjoy the water – something he’s relished all of his life – seemed like the right decision for everyone. But I underestimated the emotional bond between dog and duck.
That got me thinking about how humans learn the decision-making process. The weighing of pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, pluses and minuses. Where does the emotional, the subconscious, the right brain get to contribute? Is it any wonder why a decision right in so many ways can feel so wrong?
Recognizing this revolutionized the way I approach decision-making.
I had a big decision to make for myself – seek employment as a health coach or start my own health coaching business. Employment seemed like the obvious choice; self-employment scared the crap out of me. Nothing felt right.
Until I made my pro and con list for each option and then listed my knee-jerk reactions to the things in each of those lists. It became crystal clear that the choice that scared me the most was the right one.
The fear and doubt are still here, but because of this new decision-making process, I trust it’ll be worth it. Like Rico, I’m on a mission and I have to march up the hill until I get there.
Thanks for stopping by today.