Thursday, October 19, 2006

"What's on today's agenda?"


One of the downsides of having a working dog like Oz is that each day, unlike me, he feels he must accomplish some grave mission. If only I could get him to mop the floors. So today, we're off again to St. Louis to train with the Riverfront Working Dog Group. Oz is working toward the first leg of his Schutzhund title, a title that originated in Germany and means "protection dog" in German. But Schutzhund is more than a dog that bites people, in fact, many titled dogs are incredible family dogs who love kids and are very social. Schutzhund measures the dog's emotional stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, eagerness to work and its courage. I hope to title Oz in the next few years because he is a super dog and his father, Bastin, is the 2001 Bundesiger, which is the top Schutzhund dog worldwide.

Yesterday I went to an incredible meeting. A fairly new member (one-and a half years) talked about having to fire someone that morning in his business. He told how vendors were calling complaining they hadn't been paid large sums and his first thought was that his employee, besides being lazy, might have also been stealing. He said he "took a deep breath" and thought things through before he took action.

That led to a lively discussion. Now I love the AA Grapevine and one was sitting right in front of me. I had been perusing it prior to the meeting and there was a cartoon that went like this. Two alcoholics are at a meeting talking, holding their cups of coffee. One said to the other "When I have a crisis, I always think "Now what would an adult do?"

I was in a meeting once in Orange County, which at the time (I don't know its politics now) was incredibly conservative. This young woman spoke who looked like June Cleaver and she said, very prissily, "When I don't know what to do in a situation, I always ask myself "Now what would Nancy Reagan do?" I practically fell out of my chair with a loud snort. Now I've been accused by some of being a "bleeding heart liberal," but in actuality I'm not. I'm a very, by today's standards, conservative liberal. (I am not ashamed of the L-word.) Anyway, I shared this in the meeting, which was peopled by a lot of Democrats, and we all fell out laughing. Nancy Reagan, right.

Anyway, the leader that day shared last, and he spoke about that restoration to sanity which occurs, as I've learned, "sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly." (In my case, it's been verrrry slowly.) He said his crisis management when he was in early recovery went something like this:

"When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."

That, of course, cracked everyone up. But back to that "deep breath" our newer member talked about. That simple pause allows intuitive thoughts and solutions to occur to us. Why are some people better than others in crisis? Like the family dog I blogged about yesterday that died trying to save a cat, when it hits the fan, they are capable of targeted thinking. Remember that old saw "When you don't know what to do, don't do anything?" That has served me well in all my years around the tables.

As one of AA's promises says, "We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us." That has certainly come true in my life. Now if I can only get Oz to think along those lines.

1 comment:

Lee William said...

ahhh, deep breathing ..the million dollar solution ..thanks for reminding me