Nothing, just nothing. Chill dude.

Chill out dude.  

I am always telling people to ignore, do nothing, pretend you don't care, put on a "whatever" attitude.  So yesterday I was in the shower when I heard a loud slam and then a thump.  The scenario unfolded in my mind; bedroom door slammed, Luke jumped off the bed and was now panic stricken.  I reacged for a towel and calmly opened the door hoping that was not what I would find; but it was most definitely is what I found.  The bedroom door was closed and Luke was shaking like a leaf.  I calmly walked over to the door and slammed it again, stating "humph weird."  I opened up the door and let him run out then closed the door again; but not quite as hard as the first time.  Then I did it several more times and walked back into the shower; leaving the door open so that he could see me if he needed, and he did.

We are very careful in our house about slamming doors.  If Luke happens to be sound asleep when it happens; it is almost guaranteed he'll slip into a seizure.  Since his first door slamming episode he is highly sensitive to door wind movement and even if he doesn't have a seizure he is in a horrible state.  But with all of this "whatever" act he gets over it much quicker.  Luke basically does not like things that move on their own; if the wind is blowing anything he will stare at it with his huge ears up, worrying.

Our reactions to things have a huge impact on how our dogs react.  Watching two dogs interacting can give you a little glimpse at how they watch us.  The other morning there was some fence fighting going on in my neighborhood.  Elsa's ears went up and she barked several times.  In a very calm voice I asked her to stop please and then she looked at Luke.  He was still fast asleep, it wasn't bothering him in the least so she lay her head down and tried to ignore it.  Nice.

I have written about this subject often because it is one of the big mistakes that we humans make,  we over react.  We tend to take information and process it externally when concerning our dogs.  But what we should be doing is making a great deal of our day to day issues, non issue.  There will be times when you want to make a big boofy show of emotion but you need to save your outbursts for when you need an impact.  If you are always vocalizing loudly, shrieking, yelling or waving your arms around then you will lose the huge impact when needed.

Being a non reactor can come in many forms.  You can teach lessons by being chill and walking up to things, acting like you don't care.  You can simply ignore the issue all together or work it into a daily lesson by staying near but not reacting.  It really depends on what will have the most impact as far as dealing with an issue is.  Frenzied barking dogs in the neighborhood send me into "chill gardening" mode.  When I hear Elsa getting worked up I will go out and start gardening, calmly and quietly.  I see her watching me and before long she is gardening with me and ignoring the frenzied barking of others.

Dogs who live in houses with uptight, highly stressed people are as such.  They feed off of what we give off.  Learn to be a non reactor, it will help your dog immensely.  It's not easy and it can be extremely difficult for those who are reactors but it can be done.  I have tried very hard over the years to be chill; especially when there is an incident.  All because of Luke.  He has taught me many lessons over the years but this one is a biggy.  Chill, just chill dude.  Even when your own adrenaline has been triggered, switch on the chill mode.  Unless of course you must react to something serious.  But if it is something going on around you that you can simply walk past, chill.