Wednesday, June 15, 2011

People as pups

This post was inspired by she over at a Kwee Life, who left a thoughtful comment about thinking of my friend's son the way I would a dog. This is far more compassionate that it may sound to the un-Gal-initiated, because I have infinitely more patience with pets than with people.

Yesterday I had a particularly tiring clash with a coworker that I tangle with regularly. Once again, she thinks I'm simply being difficult. Once again, I think she's being short-sighted. We talked, and talked and talked! My boss was in the meeting and could have ended the conversation immediately by taking a side (Any side! Please, just stop the madness!) but once again he was reluctant to make a decision. So we finally agreed on a compromise, but it was a lot more difficult than it needed to be, and it left me feeling bruised. I just want to do a good job for my client. If my boss had mediated, I would have gone along with whatever he said. But he wants everyone to love him, and one of us most definitely wouldn't have, so he sat back.

Anyway, after the meeting, I realized what was going on. My "adversary" has a huuuuge, high-profile presentation on Monday ... and she's scared. She knows she's in over her head, she knows she has to not only make a good impression on our client but on her boss, as well, and she completely lacks confidence. So what does she do? She returns to the familiar -- our not-so-huge, we-do-this-every-quarter project. And she over managed it ... and me. Because this is where she feels confident.

What does a dog do when frightened? She growls a bit as she scurries back to her favorite, familiar spot. On the bed. It always feels just right under her paws and always smells just as it should. Comforting.

So now, when I look at my coworker, I imagine that she has silky ears and doggy breath and I smile. I suppose that could be considered condescending, but it's better than strangling her.

Image: federico stevanin /


  1. Better to imagine her as a cuddly dog than as Satan's daughter.

  2. Thank you! Everyone around here is wanting to grab a camera. They don't often see me speechless. I had hoped to help, and am delighted the analogy is working as well for you as it has. You know there have been so many saying along this line, but, more and more I do see more wisdom (and learn more wisdom) from observing how animals handle things than humans.