Dearest female friends, customers and pupils,

I dedicate this article to you.
I dedicate it to all of you who told me terrible things like “I am useless”, or “I am good for nothing”.
When you called me you said that your dog needed training. This was, according to me, not the correct diagnosis of the problems you had with your dog. Most of you, dear female friends, customers and pupils, did not know that the solution to the problems you have with your dog(s) can be found inside yourself.

The problems were linked to the way you feel, the way you think and the way you behave. Many times it was linked to low self esteem. I explained to you that your dog can read this in your body language. Therefore (s)he does not respect you and does not pay attention to you. Training your dog cannot change that situation.

However, the good news is that you can change the feeling of low self esteem into a feeling of self-confidence. And thanks to your dog I can help you discovering that feeling of self confidence.

Reading the magnificent book “Confusius from the Heart” by Yu Dan, I found a poignant story on page 40.
I am offering you this beautiful story about a young Chinese girl. Read it and maybe it can help you change the way you think and feel about yourself. If you can change your ideas and your feelings it will have a positive influence on the way you behave with your pet.

“In a small town there lived a very poor girl. She had lost her father, and she and her mother depended on each other for everything, scraping a meagre living from handicrafts. She suffered from terrible feelings of inferiority, because she had never had any pretty clothes or trinkets to wear.

On the Christmas when she was eighteen, her mother did something she had never done before and gave her a purse of money, telling her to buy herself a present.

Such a treat was far beyond her wildest dreams, but she still lacked the courage to stroll naturally along. As she walked towards the shops, the purse clutched in her hand, she went out of her way to avoid the crowds, and stuck close to the walls.
On the way there she saw that all the people had better lives than her, and lamented to herself: “I can’t hold my head up here, I’m the shabbiest girl in this town.”
When she saw the young man she secretly admired more than any other, she wondered mournfully who his partner would be at the big dance to be held that night.
And so, creeping along and avoiding other people all the way, she reached the shop.

As soon as she was inside, something caught her eye: a display of extremely pretty hair decorations.
While she was standing there in a daze, the shop assistant said to her: “What lovely flaxen hair you have! Try a pale green flower to go with it, you’ll look just beautiful”. She saw the price tag. It would have cost almost all her money and she said: “I can’t afford it, don’t bother.” But by then the shop assistant had already fastened that ornament to her hair.
He brought a mirror and held it up to the girl. When she saw herself in the mirror, she was amazed. She had never seen herself like this, her face glowing with health and beauty; she felt as if the flower had transformed her into an angel! Without a moment’s hesitation, she got out her money and bought it. Giddy with excitement in a way she had never felt before, she took her change, turned around and rushed outside, colliding with an old man who had just come in through the door. She thought that she heard him call out to her, but she was past worrying about all that, and hurtled out, her feet barely touching the ground.
Before she realized what she was doing, she had run all the way to the main street of the town. She saw that everyone was casting surprised glances in her direction, and she heard them discussing her, saying: “I never knew there was such a pretty girl in this town. Whose daughter is he?” She met the boy she secretly liked again, and to her surprise he called out to her to stop, saying: “Would you do me the honour of being my partner at the Christmas dance?”

The girl was wild with joy! She thought, I’ll be extravagant for once – I’ll go back and get myself a little something with the change. And with that she flew elatedly back to the shop.
As soon as she came through the door, that old man said to her with a smile: “I knew you’d be back! Just now when you bumped into me, your flower fell off. I’ve been waiting all this time for you to come back for it.”

This is where the story ends.
The pretty green flower had not made the difference in her behaviour.
It was her new self-confidence that made all the difference.