Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned…
As many of you will know, Hinton has been a big part of my life for the last 16 months (make that 20 if you want to include the 4 months of crazy excitement and preparation from decision day until he actually arrived!!)
The plan was; be a puppy socialiser, and learn everything I can about that experience, then when he goes on to the next stage of his training to be an assistance dog, enjoy perusing my options and consider whether I

  • a) want to socialise another puppy
  • b) want to get a pet dog
  • c) have had enough of dogs through this chapter of life and am happy to move on to life’s next adventure dog free..

As I chose to take time to have a sabbatical from my clinical work, I knew I would need a stop-gap. Hinton was to be my sabbatical ‘project’. (Unbeknownst to me he was actually born on the first day of my sabbatical).
IMG_0329He was a project.
And some!
I could write a book about everything I have learnt.
However, this post is not about any of that, it is to let you all know that that plan; my plan, isn’t happening.
Hinton is being withdrawn from the charity’s training program due to the challenges he has with his health. Now, if you are like every other person who I’ve told that to, your next thought will be

‘so are you going to keep him?

And there it is.
The question that was SO BIG to me it ground me to a halt for a few days. I’m not exaggerating. To you it may seem strange, but I was overcome by the enormity of the decision… a decision I had never planned on having to make…the life-changing impact of something I had to use my voice to choose what next…

Sometimes life happens to us.
Sometimes we need to use our voice to choose life.

I am grateful to have some people close to me who appreciated the bigness of my decision and gave me space and time to explore it from every angle. If we have experienced trauma of any kind in our past then it can be easy at times like this to take cover in our favourite survival pattern – run away, argue or hide and wait for it all to go away. Have you noticed what you do?

This decision needed to be made, and while I certainly had wisdom enough to put some self-care boundaries around it, to take the time I needed to make it, it had to be made. The decision wasn’t going anywhere. I had to get myself grounded, moving, thinking and processing and listening to my head, my heart, my spirit, my fears and my desires.
These are the things I asked myself to help come to my decision.

  1. What do I love in life ? What are my core passions, my values, the things that bring me life?
  2. Does this change support me in being more me or less me?
  3. Does this change mean I will grow forwards to new or go back to the old?
  4. Do I feel what I am letting go of, has grown me or shrunk me?
  5. Will the future I choose to move into grow me or shrink me?
  6. What about this scares me? (Acknowledging that there is fear or that something is hard, doesn’t mean you don’t do it – you just get more clarity about the root of the fear and power to overcome it).
  7. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Or do the positives carry MORE WEIGHT  than the negatives?
  8. Am I ready to be responsible for me and the development of my life?
  9. Am I ready to choose life?

AND to you..

In case you too are at a fork in the road, be it work, a relationship, or whether or not to keep a dog, hear me, yes it is a big decision. I know whatever you are facing, it’s an important decision. It is important because you are important.
Join me, whether for you it is yes or no, find the courage to choose life 🙂

P.S. Hinton is staying. x