Thursday, August 11, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom: Tux 26 - Decisions, Decisions

Tux has some difficulty making decisions, we all know that. It was brought home again the other day. We were walking in the park and, without consulting with Tux, I decided to change our route. 
When I didn’t turn left onto our usual path, Grace, his sister, paused long enough to look back at me. Tux hadn’t noticed that we weren’t going up our path. Neither Grace nor I wanted to stop long enough to let Tux know I’d changed our minds. While we were in no hurry, trying to help Tux overcome his confusion and/or wait for him to decide which path to take would have taken too long for either of us. 
There are only three situations in which Tux finds himself that require no thought on his part, eating, going out into the back yard, and getting into the car to go for our morning walk. Everything else he does requires some thought on his part, even down to where to do his business once he’s outside. He’s a thoughtful dog. 
Grace, on the other hand, shows no indecision - ever. She seems to know exactly what she wants to do in every situation. I’m sure I’ve seen her roll her eyes as we pause at the juncture of two paths and wait for Mr. Alpha Dog to make up his mind which path we should take. I think I’ve even heard her mutter, “Just choose a path, dude” as he looks up each path over and over. As he should, he ignores her and, after careful consideration, chooses a path, but not before looking at me to see if the path he’s chosen is okay. Can we say indecisive?
Lesson Learned
Sometimes, like Tux, we have to make a decision. Too often, we can spend too much time analyzing the decision. We over-analyze and over-think a situation. In those cases, while we think and analyze, someone else makes the decision for us and, worse, we lose a valuable opportunity. At least in Tux’s case, if he dithers too long, I’ll make the decision about which path to take. I don’t know if we’ve lost any opportunities, but perhaps. One never knows when an opportunity is on the road not travelled.

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