being neighborly

SONY DSCthe other night i took billy for a little walk up the road.  the destination was our neighbor’s house about a 1/4 of a mile away.  angus and handsome hubby were with me.  angus was struttin’ his stuff, peeing on everything along the way, making his mark.

billy was eyeing the grass along the road trying to be sneaky enough to snatch a bite here and there.  the walk was merely to get out and get moving, i didn’t have an agenda so i didn’t mind the naughtiness on billy’s part.

as we got closer to the neighbor’s house the horses on the other side of the road spotted us and came galloping over to see what was up.  billy took it all in stride.  we’ve been playing with relaxation as we walk, keeping him connected to me so he doesn’t want to leave me and be silly with them.

the neighbor has 3 mules and a horse and 2 big dogs.  the dogs had made their way out to the road to investigate angus.  handsome hubby was calling angus back to us, as we were nervous that the big dogs would mistake him for a gopher.  i’m not sure what happened as they were in the tall grass but the next thing we heard was angus screaming and the neighbor dogs snarling.  the grass was shaking and we were both certain that they were killing angus.  it turns out that they were attempting to as he was well and truly mauled when we got him out of the grass, handsome hubby walked right into the fray kicking as he went.  angus was alright, shaken and in shock, but alive.  billy was totally unfazed by all the commotion.

the neighbor walked out of the horse shelter he was cleaning and made the comment that if i was going to walk my horse up through all the horses, horses on both sides of the fence, i was just simply asking for trouble.  this confused me because not one of the horses was acting up in any way.  the ones on the left hand side of the fence were all just standing around watching the commotion, his horse and mules were leaning over the fence also watching the dogs and billy was standing beside me, head down, watching handsome hubby haul angus out of the mauling.

i tried repeatedly to tell the neighbor that his dogs were attacking my dog and he kept saying “i know i know” and then talking on and on about how his dogs were going to lose their teeth one day because they go after his mules (which the black one was doing as he was talking).  i’m not worried about billy.  he does not tolerate dogs creeping up on him and will kick them if warranted, but i would have appreciated the neighbor man listening to me that his dogs were in fact going after my dog and this had nothing what so ever to do with my horse being there.

i realized today as i was thinking about it and getting madder and madder, that i didn’t feel heard in that situation.  the neighbor thought i was a sissy girl, screaming because his dogs were walking along the road with my horse. (when in fact the screaming he heard was angus… not me…)

one of my triggers is being ignored.  not heard.  i hate it when i feel like people (and animals) aren’t listening to me.  i’m trying and trying to make my point and they are just doing their own thing, not listening, talking over me, walking over me, ignoring me.

as i walk along this path one of the things i want to get a handle on is how i respond to being ignored.  i want to be present to the fact that it really bothers me and makes me feel like an idiot and then move past it.  allow it to happen, i can’t control what others do, but can set things up so that i am more interesting than what is happening around me.

i am capable of doing this with billy, but in the moment of him going LBI and just standing, leg cocked, head down, ignoring my plea to “please walk forward!” i tend to get frustrated and then angry.  that’s when billy goes all the way over to LBI and stands there, laughing at me.  it’s in that moment that i need to stop what i’m doing and re-think my tactics.

in both cases, me getting angry and talking louder to be heard doesn’t work.  it just makes me seem like a crazy person.  just ask my kids…  and getting angry and louder with billy definitely does not work.  he just either ignores me more or gets scared and loses confidence in me as a leader.

this is most certainly a journey of never ending self improvement.  that self improvement will spill over into all aspects of my life.  thereby improving my relationships with my hubby and my kids as well.  (and maybe even my neighbors… sigh.)

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