Something I Learned from a Chihuahua

Earlier this week, I had a lovely walk down on the water front with a good friend of mine. She has the most ferocious beast of a dog….a tiny chihuahua that wouldn’t choke a bear in a fight.

As we were walking around, I noticed that this little ankle biter has a fondness for children but a great hatred and fear towards her own kind. She has little dog syndrome. Every single time we walked past another dog on a leash, she would growl, snarl and bark. Because she weighs less than 4lbs, she lifted herself right off the ground as I held the leash unphased by her atrocious behaviour.

Other dog owners smiled and laughed. We joked with them and made fun of her behaviour, but I couldn’t help to recognize myself in what she was doing.

How many times have I lashed out at others when motivated by fear? I prejudge people more often than I would like to admit. Lately, I’ve been so defensive that any hint of feeling threatened leads me to bark at others–rendering relationship impossible.

In the last few weeks my inbox, Twitter, Facebook and cell phone have been full of inquiries about things I’m posting on this blog, people I’m meeting with during the week, interviews and resources. It is so unfair of me to be defensive simply because I feel small and vulnerable, because the semantics of the question seems loaded or because of an uncomfortable experience earlier that day.

Just like that little dog, I could be missing out on some great friends simply because I tend to push first and relax later. I wonder what would happen if I stopped being afraid to be wounded and just focussed on loving other people?


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