I took Priss down to see Mom and Dad today-I'm pretty low energy but I thought it would be a nice gesture. In talking I mentioned a behavior the dogs were doing and I got the standard dismissal "You spend too much time with the dogs and you give them characteristics they don't have".
In the past, I would have lept up in indignation, defending the years of reading, studying and working with animals. Tonight I just laughed and said "no I don't". And Mom laughed back and said "well, Ok then."
That conversation would have been impossible a year ago. That little gain gave me enough energy to put Priss back in with the pack and work through her post-visit bossy vibe without any anger.
My anger is never at Priss, just as a situation that pushes us back. Priss was Mom and Dad's dog for awhile, I can get her reasonably in line, but if we visit, she falls back. But Mom and Dad need the visits more than I need Priss to be a perfect dog. And, on a happier note, the dominance rituals reinforce my dominance with the other pack members.
Where was I? Oh yeah, maybe a quiet answer really does turneth away wrath...but until recently that a quiet answer did not mean you had to agree. Wow. Heavy.