We all have daily routines that we can go through practically in our sleep. I don’t need to be really awake to leash the dog up for his early morning bathroom break, or even to brush the cat’s teeth and feed her breakfast. These are all part of my routine.
I frequently see clients whose dogs could basically walk their normal walk route without any guidance, because there is never any variation. And sometimes this is a good thing. Following the same routines can be soothing and can save our energy for other moments or decisions.
But life is not predictable, and following the same routine too closely can leave us unprepared for the unexpected. If we always take the same walk, what do we do when construction on that street makes it unpleasant or unpassable? If we always do the exact same tasks in the exact same order, what happens when a new baby, or dog, or job requires a change in that routine?
We don’t have to pursue change for its own sake, but it can be beneficial to think ahead to moments when it might be forced upon us. How will we change? Are we prepared? And we can keepbin mind that change is not always stressful. A quiet walk in a neighborhood park might get you a break from the dog that always barks at you along your normal route. switching your long and short walks might help you avoid a scare from the garbage trucks.
For some dogs, the new and different can be too scary to approach lightly, but the reality is that change is always coming. By starting to prepare in advance with changes that are manageable, we might avoid a total breakdown that could result from a sudden change later.
Note: The title of this post is completely intentionally a reference to Hamilton. If you want to go back and read the whole thing again while playing that song, that wouldn’t be a bad idea.