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It’s been so much on my mind, the choice between punishment and correction and I know it’s because of living with my puppy, Bodhi.
She’s a very good girl, amazingly so. I can really tell by the choices she makes that she would like to do the most loving thing for me. She chews on her toys not on my shoes. She does her business outside and not in the house. She doesn’t wake me up, she waits to jump up on the bed until she knows I’m really awake.
She’s so considerate.
And still, every day she makes choices that are very puppy-like. She rolls in the mud. She chases a frog. She gets a bit too curious about something. She’s a hole digger. She loves to lie in a dirty puddle. She jumps up on strangers. All normal things that puppies do.
I work at training her every day, and I don’t ever punish her. I don’t yell at her. I show her what I’d like her to do so she can learn in a gentle safe way.
A Course in Miracles teaches us that the loving thing to do is to offer correction.
I offer it lovingly, gently, sweetly.
Bodhi is helping me to see how fruitless that is and how helpful it is to kindly offer correction.
As Shakespeare said, Love “looks on tempests and is never shaken.”
Sometimes I do feel bummed when I let her out for a quick pee and she comes back needing a bath. However, if I’d like to make sure she doesn’t get in the mud, I just need to go with her. She’s a puppy. She’s going to go for the mud. Of course she is.
It’s my choice to supervise her or not. I don’t need to punished for not choosing to supervise her and then she gets into the mud. It’s just a consequence that takes a few minutes to rectify. I can remember to laugh and be glad she’s having harmless fun.
I haven’t done anything wrong and neither has she. No one is punished. We’re both loved. All is well.