Archive for May, 2009

You know that I have worked for many years with dog owners and their pets. The work continues and I am enjoying it more and more. Doing this kind of work made me discover some recurring patterns of human unconscious behaviour. First I had to discover my own unconscious behavioural patterns with my dogs. Then I saw how I was behaving in the same unconscious way with my fellow human beings. Later I started seeing similar patterns in the behaviour of my clients with their dogs.

Let me give you some examples:

  1. Most dog owners ask for recognition for all the things they have done for their dog. Nevertheless in spite of all they have done or are doing for their dog, {s}he is still behaving in a BAD way. They are asking for recognition mainly because they rescued or adopted their dog. Repeating that story for years on end is their unconscious way of telling me how good they are and how bad the former owners were. This gives them a feeling of superiority.
  2. Some dog owners try to get attention by talking about the problems of their dog or about its illnesses. They are not conscious of the fact that in most cases they themselves are the source of the behavioural problems. The lack of leadership, the lack of exercise and the bad food they offer the dog are many times the causes of the illnesses in the first place.
  3. Most {former}dog owners approaching my dogs in the street are giving me their opinion about their dogs, although I never asked for it and although their opinion makes no difference to the situation they created for their dog.
  4. Some dog owners are more concerned about how others see them and their dog than about their dog.
  5. Some dog owners want to make an impression on other people through their dogs. They use their dog as an EGO-enhancer and want to appear important because of their dog.
  6. Many dog owners bring about a temporary EGO-inflation by getting angry at their dog or over their dog.
  7. Some dog owners take it personally when somebody says something about their dog or does something to their dog.
  8. Some dog owners make themselves right about their dog and consequently others wrong about their dog. It gives them a feeling of superiority.
  9. Many dog owners love complaining about their dogs.
  10. Most dog owners humanize their dog. Many tell me they prefer dogs to humans. Being disconnected from their own true self and from nature they lead an unstable life. Consequently unstable owners have unstable dogs.
  11. Most dog owners are constantly afraid that something will happen or not happen to their dog. Their dog senses the fear and it turns her/him into a more unstable dog.

It was most surprising for me to discover that I learned most about human behaviour with dogs, NOT in books about dog training. No, it was by reading the works of an author like Eckhart Tolle that I learned most about how I was unconsciously behaving with my dogs.

It might be a good idea to read these books too.

Your inner stability as a human being will most certainly lead you to having a stable dog….and a stable life.

All the best from Brunothedoglistener.

An obedient dog is a joy forever.
Well-educated dogs are obedient dogs.
Obedient dogs are stable dogs.
Stabledogs have stable owners.

www.brunodogs.com

00.34.19.29.76

Comments Comments Off on Unconscious behaviour

Last time I was writing to you about fish for us all and how we are destroying life in our oceans. Elspeth in South Africa did send me the following message:Bruno,

Here in South Africa the Sea Fisheries Institute have a telephone number that you text/send an sms on your mobile/cell phone (depending on whether you’re talking American or British English!) with the name of the fish you’re considering buying or eating in a restaurant. You then get a message back which tells you whether the fish is coded red: overfished and endangered, do not buy/eat, orange: diminished stocks, consider not buying/eating, green: abundant supplies, ok to buy/eat. It’s a really useful service, virtually everyone I know – but then most of my friends are greenies – uses it. Our local fishmonger rolls his eyes when he sees us hauling out our cell phones and tapping fish names into it!
Yours,
Elspeth
In the mean time I found additional information about fish farms in the supplement of NRC Handelsblad.
In 1970 only 6 % of all the fish we were eating came from fish farms. In 2006 this percentage had risen to 50 % representing a total quantity of 60.000.000 tons of fish. Demand for this kind of fish is rising faster than the demand for any other kind of food because of increasing world population and the decreasing of fish stocks in our seas.I have seen cheap Pangasius from Vietnam on the menu of French and Spanish restaurants. The way Pangasius is being farmed in Vietnam leads to the devastation of the environment around the breeding ponds in a slittle as 10 yearsBut this is only an example as 99 % of all fish farms in the world are polluting river deltas, coral riffs and mangroves.The animals in fish farms are not only being fed food mixed with antibiotics but they are clearly showing stress. Because they are living under stressful circumstances they get ill more often and grow slower than wild fish.According to dr.Mercola we must stop eating fish because of the real risk we are running of poising by mercury that has been accumulated in the bodies of the animals. Refering to what Elspeth wrote me I’d like to know if a similar warning system exists in your country.Thanks for dropping me a line.Kindest regards from Brunothedoglistener

Comments Comments Off on Warning system for fish eaters

Why ask myself if there is enough fish for all of us?
With my wife Béatrice and our two Labradors I live in the Spanish province of Alicante. I presume that many wealthy people would not like the old and small house we rent in the mountains. But for us it is a superb haven on the margin of the forest. We overlook the valley and are being offered some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Most of our neighbours are sheep, goats, wild boar, rabbits and the occasional fox. They are definitely less noisy than trucks, motorcycles and cars.
Our Spanish friend Benjamin is an organic farmer in nearby Benissa. In his tiny shop we buy bread, marmalade, fruit and vegetables. For things like Kefir and cheese we have to go to a supermarket. The other day I accompanied my wife Béatrice and had a look at the fish counter of the supermarket.
It turned out to be a mind blowing experience.
What I saw made me take the notebook I always carry in my pocket and I started writing.
Why?
Because of the information I found on the price tags.
That day there were 51 price tags for 51 different kinds of fish.
The list of the countries of origin of that fish looked like a poster in a travel agency promoting a trip around the world. It started in Holland, going over to Senegal, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Canada, United States, South-Africa, Namibia, Vietnam, Greece, Morocco, Norway, India, France, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, China and stopping in Scotland.
Do not think that all the fish had been caught in the oceans of our planet. Trout, dorada, salmon, and shrimps came from fish farms in Spain, Turkey, Norway and Ecuador.
For several years I have known that the fishermen in the coastal towns of the Mediterranean Sea are out of work. In the past I knew the names of the fish we were eating. Today we are being offered fish with totally different names.
Why?
Because the sea, called ‘Mare Nostrum’ by the Romans, the sea that has been the cradle of our Western culture, well that sea is now empty.
Over the last 50 to 60 years Europe has reached an incredible ‘high standard of living’ and maybe we consider it to be given to us as some sort of a divine right. We have developed a way of living and eating that has become insane. Today we are eating the last surviving stocks of fish in the world, joined by countries like the United States and Japan.
The indigenous fishermen in Senegal, South-Africa, Namibia, Vietnam, Morocco, India, Ecuador, Argentina and Peru see how their stocks of fish are quickly disappearing. Many cannot feed their families anymore.
Looking at the fish counter of a supermarket in a small Spanish town, I felt suddenly ashamed. Was I going to buy the fish that has been for many centuries the staple food of poor fishermen all over the world?
Many decades ago I stopped eating meat.
I did not want to be part of a vicious, cruel and unhealthy system whereby billions of animals are tortured and degraded before being turned into hamburgers and sausages.
That day I decided to stop eating fish.
And you know what?
I am beginning to understand why a village elder in Somalia calls the pirates in his country ‘heroes’.
Enjoy your meal.
Kindest regards from Bruno Goffin

Why ask myself if there is enough fish for all of us?With my wife Béatrice and our two Labradors I live in the Spanish province of Alicante. I presume that many wealthy people would not like the old and small house we rent in the mountains. But for us it is a superb haven on the margin of the forest. We overlook the valley and are being offered some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Most of our neighbours are sheep, goats, wild boar, rabbits and the occasional fox. They are definitely less noisy than trucks, motorcycles and cars.Our Spanish friend Benjamin is an organic farmer in nearby Benissa. In his tiny shop we buy bread, marmalade, fruit and vegetables. For things like Kefir and cheese we have to go to a supermarket. The other day I accompanied my wife Béatrice and had a look at the fish counter of the supermarket.It turned out to be a mind blowing experience.What I saw made me take the notebook I always carry in my pocket and I started writing.Why?Because of the information I found on the price tags.That day there were 51 price tags for 51 different kinds of fish.The list of the countries of origin of that fish looked like a poster in a travel agency promoting a trip around the world. It started in Holland, going over to Senegal, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Canada, United States, South-Africa, Namibia, Vietnam, Greece, Morocco, Norway, India, France, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, China and stopping in Scotland.Do not think that all the fish had been caught in the oceans of our planet. Trout, dorada, salmon, and shrimps came from fish farms in Spain, Turkey, Norway and Ecuador.For several years I have known that the fishermen in the coastal towns of the Mediterranean Sea are out of work. In the past I knew the names of the fish we were eating. Today we are being offered fish with totally different names.Why?Because the sea, called ‘Mare Nostrum’ by the Romans, the sea that has been the cradle of our Western culture, well that sea is now empty.Over the last 50 to 60 years Europe has reached an incredible ‘high standard of living’ and maybe we consider it to be given to us as some sort of a divine right. We have developed a way of living and eating that has become insane. Today we are eating the last surviving stocks of fish in the world, joined by countries like the United States and Japan.The indigenous fishermen in Senegal, South-Africa, Namibia, Vietnam, Morocco, India, Ecuador, Argentina and Peru see how their stocks of fish are quickly disappearing. Many cannot feed their families anymore.Looking at the fish counter of a supermarket in a small Spanish town, I felt suddenly ashamed. Was I going to buy the fish that has been for many centuries the staple food of poor fishermen all over the world?Many decades ago I stopped eating meat.I did not want to be part of a vicious, cruel and unhealthy system whereby billions of animals are tortured and degraded before being turned into hamburgers and sausages.That day I decided to stop eating fish.And you know what? I am beginning to understand why a village elder in Somalia calls the pirates in his country ‘heroes’. Enjoy your meal.Kindest regards from Bruno Goffin

Comments Comments Off on Fish for all of us?

From Elda in South Africa I received the following message:

Bruno, your email gave me a great wake up call.

I confess I am the emotional super loving caring/cuddling owner of my dog Meeka . She sleeps on my bed and occasionally sits on the coach. Jumping on some visitors? Yes she does but only upon arrival during the first few moments. I can leave her at home she does not wine, my friends marvel at her good behaviour (during the evening) and she is playful and super loving back. Her toileting is great, she sits, waits and goes down. Now what shocked me was the discovery that giving her great great love is therapy for a human being looking for love but that it is not fair on the dog. Well this caught my eye and is so funny and yet at the same time a perspective I did not look at before!! Another wake up call is if I baby my dog (which I totally do a 100%) it places the dog in a terrible position! I see the seriousness in all this and decided to take action now. Not only to free Meeka of anxiety but also to keep her safe by making her follow my instructions as her pack leader.

For many years I have felt as if I was surrounded by ‘dog owners with problems’.
As a boy I had heard my father say: ‘There are no problems. There are only solutions’.
My father was an electrician. He was used to solving problems in the homes of his clients.What was a problem for the client, was not a problem for my father. As an electrician he always found the solution to whatever faulty lights or electrical appliances his clients had.

Working as a doglistener I have met many people who like to start a sentence with these words:

BUT YOU KNOW THE PROBLEM IS…..
Years ago I thought: Ooh yes, they have problems. Good, I will be able to help them. If I showed my clients or pupils how to train their dogs, that would be the end of the problem. That assumption was based upon what I had learned about dog training and upon the example given to me by my father.
However, many times my solution (showing how to train a dog) was not the end of the clients’ problem.

Today I know it was not the end of the problem because the dogs were not the problem and training them was not the solution.

The dysfunctional RELATIONSHIPS between the dogs and the persons were the problem.

How many times did I hear: ‘Yes but my dog is doing it with you but he is not doing it with me’.
Very often I thought that the person telling me this was stupid or unwilling to learn.
Today I know that they were not stupid and not unwilling to learn. The relational problems between dogs and owners were caused by the behaviour of the owners. And their behaviour was and is the result of the way they are as a person.
Human beings behave in a certain way because of the way we feel and think.
And we behave and feel in a certain way because as a child we had to learn how to behave that way in order to survive physically, emotionally and intellectually.

I will give you a personal example.
For sixty years my behaviour was conditioned by my ever present
willingness and need to please other people. I behaved like that
without knowing it. I was not conscious of what I was automatically
doing. I behaved as if I was on auto-pilot. Today I have for instance
learned to say NO when I want to say it. The auto-pilot is still
kicking in, but I am conscious of the mechanism and can handle it.
For me personally, becoming involved in the ManKindProject
opened my eyes on my unconscious behaviour. But, rest assured, my
journey on the road of discovery is continuing.

You might have heard about Eckhart Tolle who wrote The Power of Now.
He explains (page 53) that ‘All problems are illusions of the mind’.
Answering a question he says: ‘If you found yourself in paradise, it
wouldn’t be long before your mind would say ‘Yes, but….’ Ultimately
this is not about solving your problems. It is about realizing that
there are no problems. Only situations – to be dealt with now or to be
left alone and accepted as part of the ‘isness’ of the present moment –
until they change or can be dealt with.’

Great stuff isn’t it?

I also realize what a great philosopher my dad was although I never saw him in that light when he was still alive.

So, what has this to do with dogs?

Well, this the mechanism:
I see many dog owners who want to be loved, who want to be cuddled, who
want to be touched, who want to be stroked, who want warmth, who want to be talked to, who want intimacy.
That is what they need.
They are looking for unconditional love.
But that is exactly what they cannot find in their partners, friends, family, nor in themselves.

The source of that need is inside themselves. That need is the result of their needing Ego. The Ego tells the person that the need {s}he feels can be fulfilled by someone else or something else. For eons of dog owners the dog has to fulfil that need.
This is of course not the solution.
You see that this is a projection mechanism, right?
Many times this human need leads to spoiling the dog with the result that the dog thinks that (s)he has to take charge of the pack {=human family}.
This is the cause of very dysfunctional situations with pulling, jumping, biting, barking, defecating, peeing, destroying, and very anxious… dogs. Usually the owners of these dogs will keep on saying that their dog is sooooo sweet, soooooo nice, soooooo beautiful, soooooo lovely, soooooo intelligent. The owner will almost never admit that the problematic situation is the result of her/his {= the owner’s} behaviour.

But, as you have been reading all those doggy letters from me, you know already that if the owner changes her/his behaviour, the dog changes her/his behaviour.

Isn’t it?

Drop me a line and tell me about your own experiences in this respect.

Kindest regards from Brunothedoglistener

Well-educated dogs are obedient dogs.
Obedient dogs are happy dogs.

Happy dogs have happy owners.

www.brunodogs.com

Comments Comments Off on Needy people