Words for a pup Master
Drawing from Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure - the Way of the Samurai - there are some helpful words of advice for owners of pups.
How do you find pups? - Getting good pups is the most essential thing for a master. Making good pups come to you is something that can come from your own efforts. If you start liking pups, caring for them and enjoying their company, then pups will naturally accumulate around you. All that is necessary is for you to start liking them. Friendliness and a good disposition to pups is the foremost quality a master can have to secure good pups. As in any endeavour, if you are not sincere and serious, nothing will come of it.
What should you do? - Know the way of pups, know Inu jystu, so that you are wise in how a pup should behave. Verse yourself in pup play and learn its arts well. Your journey to mastery of pup play is continuous, and your pups guard you along the way. You cannot fail as you go forward and learn with loyal devoted pups by your side. Their respect is the light that shines and illuminates the path ahead.
Respect is not to be mistaken for worship - As you see pups bow and submit to you in reverence, be very careful about it. You are the owner of your pups, and you do not want your role to be mistaken for one who is worshipped. Gods always are found to have feet of clay and be false when needed. A master has devotion and reverence from his pups, demonstrating a loyalty that surpasses mere worship and its fall. A loyal pup will never turn from devotion to his master. So attend carefully to a pups reverence so that it does not become worship. A good master does not allow himself to be swayed by pleasure and the thrill of worship. He is always in command of himself and his pups.
Decide things - Have courage at all times and act decisively. Your words should cut like a sword to the heart of matters in the pack and in a pups life, providing clarity and security for all.
When the water is clear, there are no fish - There is a metaphor for how a Master should handle knowing what is what with his pack. Just because there are algae and other plants in the water, the fish can hide behind them and grow. When the water is clear, there are no fish. When a Master overlooks certain things of his choosing that he sees and hears, his pups can feel secure.
Strictness need be applied in groups - There is nothing better than benevolent mastery. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to practice benevolent Ownership of pups to the point that order and tranquillity prevail in a pack. If the mastery is practised in a half hearted way, Ownership will be perfunctory and sloppy. If it is difficult to achieve benevolent Ownership, it is best to practice strict Ownership. Strict means to be strict and lawful from the time before problems arise, so that problems will not have a chance to arrive. To become strict after problems have already arisen is like setting a trap. It makes a Master seem arbitrary and inconstant, and seems to set a pup up to fail. It is always best to have rules laid clearly out beforehand. When people know that fire will injure their skin, those who have accidents with fire will be few. When people think of water in friendly terms, many will end up drowning.
No pity, only moving forward - If your pup becomes demoralised and confused due to some misfortune, do not offer sympathetic words. Never say something like - "how awful, I am really sorry". Doing do, you will only make that pup more depressed and more unable to see the principles of things. You are encouraging him to simply seek reassurance constantly, and to fall into a false belief that love and care will spare him or rescue him from pain. He will be easily taken in by those who simply give him kind words and when their insincerity is revealed, pup will feel betrayed. So you have a duty to be hard and real. So when bad things happen, instead expressing sympathy, you should say calmly - "actually this turn of events may turn out better for you". Your words have influence with your pup, and should catch his attention. He can come to see his situation from a new perspective, and it may help him find solutions to his problems. You do not want your pup obsessing and dwelling on feelings and occurrences. It is better a human pup know that in this world nothing remains fixed, so neither sadness or thrilling joy should be allowed to keep a hold on a pups heart for too long. A pup lives in an eternal ever changing moment.