Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Therapist, a Sofa and Lord Malcolm

Therapist  (ther-uh-pist)
a person trained in the use of psychological methods for helping patients overcome psychological problems.
Cower (kou-er)
to crouch, as in fear or shame

I have this hilarious picture in my head of a person similar to the character of Lilith on "Cheers", Frazier's wife.  Hair pulled back in a bun.  Stiff demeanor.  Always in a suit and reasonable shoes.  Glasses sitting on the end of her long pointy nose.  No personality.  Cold as ice.  Perhaps rather matched to Spock on "Star Trek" than Frazier in the logic department.  But there she sits, legs crossed.  Glasses adjusted.  Pencil in hand and notepad resting on her knee................

The patient is here, comfortably resting on the sofa and recounting a long story about how his handler laughed at him when those 3 mini Schnauzers came charging and he cowered in fear and trembling.  Laugh she did.  
"And how did that make you feel"?  the ice sculpture asks.  The reply is filled with the same fear from that day, and with eyes full of tears and a trembling voice, Lord Malcolm replies without hesitation;  "I felt scared of the dogs and humiliated and vulnerable.  Like my  PR Handler wasn't there to protect me and keep me safe."  "And what was your response to those feelings"?  "I decided to attack every little dog first, before they could ever attack me".

This is not my picture and is not my dog.
Coreen Tossona originally shared this picture.

"And how did your PR Handler react?"  "Irrationally.  She completely misread my actions and rather continued to do so for another year to follow.  I overheard her talking with others about what she should do, but regretfully, she never asked me.  The others she talked to were apparently clueless, but she listened to them anyway, correcting me harder and harder.  During this time, she read books on aggressive lunging and bought a very funky harness that was intended to keep me from pulling and lunging."

A pathetic Lord Malcolm in the Freedom No Pull Harness.
This picture was originally shared in the blog post dated Aug. 20, 2011
and titled "Mighty Malcolm and the Freedom No Pull Harness"

And 'Icy Fingers' who is, by now, furiously taking notes and breaking down the pencil lead;  probably hoping to throw said PR Handler in the slammer with only bread and water, has a brilliant idea as she quickly gets up to sharpen the lead on her ice pencil.  "Do you think or feel that she intended to humiliate you when she laughed?  Or that she wants you to feel vulnerable and without protection?"
"Well.  In point of fact, I do not feel that she is purposefully misusing me.  In fact, I know her to adore me just as most people do.  I think she would not want to see me harmed in any way".
"Right then.  It is settled.  Would you feel comfortable if she were to demonstrate her understanding more clearly and to overtly offer protection at just those moments when you feel vulnerable?"
And very eagerly, Lord Malcolm agreed and he and his Therapist devised a full plan to present to the PR Handler so that she could do her best in handling his up start career. 

And so the story goes.  Malcolm and his PR Handler worked very hard at communicating with each other and both grew in understanding and trust.  As the months rolled by, they practiced going to home repair stores, pet stores, liquor stores, stores that sold to the building industry, the dog club and anywhere where there was room to practice around lots of strange activity as well as other small and large dogs.  Lord Malcolm began to trust that the PR Handler was able to read the situation and believed that she was much more enlightened in her ability to analyze the language of 'dog', while he let go his fear and trusted that she would, indeed, keep him safe from harm.   They recently went on a trip to 2 huge box hardware stores and the box pet store all in one afternoon and had no incidents of any sort out of the ordinary to report.  While it is still a 'work in progress', it is more and more clear that the PR Handler is finally on the right path.  Lord Malcolm trembles less in new situations and rarely lunges at other dogs.  And the best part is that the PR Handler never corrects him anymore.  He is given time and space enough to correct himself and he is doing a wonderful job.  The PR Handler has been paroled and is now required to wear a bag of treats at all times, vowing to never again laugh at, or correct her highly sensitive boy.

The End

1 comment:

Casey said...

I'm glad you and Malcolm have resolved things! My momma laughs sometimes, but it's always WITH me, not AT me.