Can I Learn From a Portuguese Guard Dog?
I Don’t Understand The Portuguese Language… But Can I Learn From a Portuguese Guard Dog?
The short answer is Yes Absolutely! Let me tell you my story…
For what seemed like years, whenever my wife and I stayed in our Portuguese Villa we had to endure the endless barking of our neighbour’s dog – day and night! It seemed like he would bark even when I mosquito flew over our villa. So how did I react? I was angry. Irritated. Frustrated. Lost sleep. And I found myself starting to wonder and to plot just how I could make this dog shut the f*** up. Excuse my language but this is how this sweet and lovely dog made me feel.
So what did I do about it? I marched over to the house of this dog owner and started to give him a piece of my mind. I’m sure you are wondering how he responded, right? Well he was very nice, apologetic, understanding… and then he said “I do understand and I will do what I can to keep my dog quiet, but you know that he protects your home as well as mine, don’t you?” This completely stopped me in my tracks! He continued “Bruno is a trained guard dog and whenever anyone is hanging around in the street he barks. Two months ago there were two suspicious looking guys hanging around on the corner of the street and then right outside your villa and Bruno barked so loudly that he got my attention. I quickly phoned the police who came within 10 minutes. They apprehended these two men and took them to the Police Station for questioning.” He went on to tell me about another time when Bruno protected our Portuguese home when a car was being driven slowly up and down our street and stopping right outside our villa. “Bruno barked and again got my attention and I phoned the police.” Now this got me thinking in a completely different way about the dog. He switched almost immediately from being a loud and bloody annoying dog to being Bruno, one of my best friends. Now when he barks it makes me smile and I think to myself “Oh there’s my friend Bruno!”
Why is this important? Well, does Bruno still bark at everything – day and night? YES! But does his barking annoy me? Does it make me angry? Do I lose sleep? NO! Because I have changed my perspective about this amazing dog and about his barking. I now see them both as a blessing. My point is that your life can improve simply by changing your perspective about people and about situations. Take a minute to really think about Bruno. The reality of the situation is still exactly the same – nothing has changed – but the way I see him and his incessant barking has completely changed and consequently my reality has changed.
I believe this is one of the most important lessons I have ever learnt and want to share this with you.
I wish you well.