I asked a pup recently what he wanted of me, and his answer is so eloquent -
"Open arms, open mind, and open heart Sir"
Three things I can easily provide to a pup. Zen buddhism has taught me an open mind, and open heart. I try to have an attitude of open arms for a pup who belongs with me in training and life. There can be no doubt that having open arms and embracing each other, having an open mind and having to accept each others point of view, and having an open heart and being emotionally available to one another - that leaves both a pup and I vulnerable.
Yet that Openness must be in the pup too. A preparedness to accept new things, to accept care and love, to accept change. An open minded pup does not approach pup play with demands and impositions of what "must" happen, what "must" be part of their training. I don't just find that demand from a pup to be off putting, I find it counter intuitive to training. You don't start a trust relationship with me as a master and trainer by handing me a laundry list of demands and projecting your fantasy on me. Together we share and discover what pup he wants to be, and work towards that. Openness means accepting that perhaps the initial fantasy was not realistic, or perhaps there is so much more inside wanting to be expressed.
The open heart is the most essential of openness, as there has to be a bond of love and care between owner and pup for me. Pups who wish emotional distance, I respect that, but they are not going to be a Sirius Pup. So I am committed to having an Open Mind towards all kinds of pups and their choice of identity. I am committed to having Open Arms and taking the Sirius Pup forward to become the pup we both want. And I am committed to having an Open Heart and loving my pups, as I love my husbear, my best friends, my family, my loved ones. A pup is for life, not just the next hour.