A Big Lesson from My Small Puppy

What lies beyond the unknown.

Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash

Over the last months, my partner and I have been discussing about getting a dog.

After some thought, we've decided we would be adopting one.

We finally decided upon a five-month puppy coming from a dog pound in Sicily.

Last Saturday, the big day has finally arrived! After a long trip, from Sicily to the North of Italy, our dear mutt was ready to be picked up and brought into her new home.

Although she has only been here for a week, her behavior has already taught us so much about ours.

At first, she was intimated by being in new surroundings — but after one day our home felt just as comfortable to her as it does to us — she was at ease.

However, troubles started when we tried to take her out — we do have a small garden from the condo, and that’s where we usually take her. But, what a surprise, even if the place is quiet and calm, she is still terrified of going out there. She struggles to leave the house and, I am pretty sure that if she could actually talk, she would beg us not to take her and just leave her at home!

How come! It is sunny outside, the grass is green and the garden is surrounded by beautiful trees. Adding to the fact, that it is always empty, meaning she has the garden all to herself and yet she insists on being inside, at home, playing and resting on the couch (she has found out that sleeping on the soft couch is way comfier than on the cold floor).

I am no dog expert, but I understand that she has spent most of her life locked in a dog pound and although the place was well taken care of and so was she, that was all she knew until last week. Probably the reason why home feels so safe to her — an enclosed space where she gets attention and food — just like a den and in some ways, just like the pound she grew in.

Any resemblance to some of us, humans? I would have to say yes, quite a lot!

How many times, because we fear the unknown have we missed out on a great opportunity ?

Joey, our adorable pet, is missing out on a great chance here, because of her fear of the unknown.

If only she could understand what lies on that garden out there! She would get the chance to run, play fetch, lay down on the grass, feel the fresh air and explore. But no, she still refuses to enjoy it and chooses to stay indoors, her known safe haven.

Guess, we can all relate to her in some way.

Many times, an opportunity has knocked on my door and I still refused it, or had to battle hard my inner demons to plunge into it — only to discover later what I have been missing out.

Same here, choosing to stay inside, or better said, refusing at all costs to go outside Joey is missing out on experiencing something new and we do the same every time we choose to remain in our comfort zone that might no longer be providing us with the enjoyment and fulfilment it once have.

We get stuck, terrified by the unknown. It takes a great amount of courage to take our chances and throw ourselves out there when we don’t really know what we might get — but same for Joey, chances are it will be worth it.

Let’s not conform to a situation simply because we are scared of what we cannot still see.

It will probably take time, we might need to grow into the idea of moving past what we have known our entire life, but we can do it — and she can do it.

Step by step, we will show our puppy how much fun and excitement lay outside and that she can feel safe to explore it, because home will always be here for her. The same goes for me and maybe to some of you reading this piece — our comfort zone may seem safe and comfortable but let’s not allow fear to prevent us from reaching out and exploring beyond our “home”, beyond what is known to us. And that applies to all areas of our lives. And after all, if the walk is no fun, we can always go back home.

So I take it from our puppy, that our understanding and experiencing of life can always be stretched, that’s how we grow, that’s how we become more or who we are. All it takes is a first step, and the courage to embrace and experience the new, with fresh eyes.

"Relinquish your attachment to the known, step into the unknown, and you will step into the field of all possibilities". Deepak Chopra.