Making a mistake

It's important not to scold animals for what they did in the past. Their minds don't work in that way


Friday, 20 November 2020, 18:15


It is so easy to make a mistake and there is nothing wrong in that providing you have learned from it. I have just made two and both involve our lovely dog Digger... I should have known better.

When I let Digger out in the garden early each morning to answer the call of nature, I check that the gates are closed and then again later in the day as some visitors are remarkably careless over closing gates. That is why rarely used gates are kept locked with padlock and chain.

So how Digger escaped remains a major mystery.

The challenge was on to find him. Erny went off in the car and I went to the bottom of our garden which is large and raised my voice so it would carry over a considerable distance. No reaction.

After twenty minutes Digger suddenly appeared wagging his tail, happy to be home. Where had he been? Another mystery.

Now I made another mistake. I was so relieved to see him, but annoyed at us being put to anxiety, so my immediate reaction was to scold him for wandering off. What had he done wrong?

Digger did not think back to what he had done half an hour ago. Dogs' memories are not like that. Digger related my scolding to what he had just done NOW and that was to come home. All very confusing.

Then Erny returned with the car and played the right move. She praised Digger for coming home. Two lessons learned in one. The first situation remains a mystery, but the second reaction I will be sure not to repeat.

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