Lessons on leadership and love, from a boxer called Ace
Recently I learned a huge lesson; I mean a whopper of a lesson, from a wonderful family and their amazing new dog. I learned about leadership; the kind of leadership they say a human requires with a dog. It’s something I have struggled with for a long while – both the concept that we humans need to control dogs by exerting our will over them and the methods that are used to accomplish this.
After many years of questioning, discussing and searching, I finally received the complete and heart-centered answer. It came from a dog. Of course.
The dog who taught me this life-changing lesson is called Ace, and he is a boxer. It only makes sense that this profound gift came from a Boxer. There is something about boxers, at least for me, that reveals the truth like no other. If you have ever spent time with boxers, you may know what I mean.
Boxers have a way of pushing limits, pushing boundaries and pushing patience. They can be unrelenting in their quest for satisfaction – whether it is play, food, exercise or affection. Or even the quest for the coziest place to rest.
I once believed that boxers were crazy, and I couldn’t understand why someone would live with such a demanding and invasive dog. Well, the boxers of the world must have heard these inner judgements of mine, because they sent me a boxer of my own to turn my ideas upside down.
The Boxer gods were truly crafty in their means of delivery: When I met the man of my dreams, the man I married, he came with only one catch – he had a boxer. Yuck.
He didn’t just have any old boxer; he had a boxer that was off the charts nuts. She had every problem under the sun. You name it, she had it: health problems, anxiety issues, behaviour challenges, reactive aggression. She made it very difficult for me to fall in love with her.
Fast forward to the end of the story, and suffice it to say that I am now a fully-fledged boxer convert. After being triggered into every emotion and reaction imaginable by this little boxer dervish, I finally succumbed to her charms and got down to the business of learning all of the complex and divine lessons she had come to teach me.
I can now proudly say: My name is Tamryn, and I love boxers.
Which brings us back to Ace. Through a referral from another client, Ace’s lady received a couple of intuitive readings with me. Ace is a huge muscle bound man of a boxer who had to leave his previoushome because of health issues. He was unneutered, broken hearted and unaccustomed to living with a large human or dog family.
Ace came to his new family with some challenges: he required a surgery to address his health problem; his huge tender heart was aching from missing his previous master; he was overwhelmed by all of the new people and situations in his life; and he wasn’t too sure about sharing his life with the group of dogs he found at his new home.
The first reading we had with him revealed his broken heart. He shared that one of the things making it difficult for him to relax and accept his new family was the way they spoke of and thought of his previous master.
He showed us that he had a loving home with his other man. That they were a team together, and they loved each other deeply. These things were being overlooked by the new people in his life. Because his man gave him up, it was believed that he somehow didn’t care about Ace.
Ace’s messages revealed the exact opposite: his man had loved him deeply, and was torn apart by the decision to give him up. Ace needed people to understand and honour the wonderful and loving home he had previously enjoyed and was missing so very much.
Ace’s new lady took this information in stride, and immediately began holding Ace’s past with gentle care and respect. An open-hearted lady with a huge capacity to love and heal, she accepted Ace’s request without question. She soon reported that Ace seemed more peaceful and happy.
After his successful surgery, Ace was to be integrated into his new family, which included 6 other boxers. (Oh yes, when boxers get a hold of you, there is no turning back.) His lady contacted me for another reading after tensions arose between Ace and her big male dog Dexter. They had been fighting, and it needed addressing.
The second reading revealed that Ace was feeling defensive and somewhat angry at the onslaught of new things required of him. He was overwhelmed by the prospect of fitting into a group of dynamic personalities, and he sometimes lacked the social finesse required to communicate properly and behave peacefully within the group.
Enter Dexter, the older male of the group. After seeing Ace’s decidedly unrefined way of engaging with others, he tried coaching Ace about what was expected of him. This is when the fur started to fly. Ace was completely unwilling to take instruction from this older fellow.
That seemed to be Ace’s breaking point. It was so much change and so much upheaval: leaving his man behind, meeting this new family, enduring a difficult surgery (which involved a complicated neutering procedure) and needing to rely on new people for support and stability. And now he was being told that he wasn’t fitting in properly, and he would have to do things differently. How much more could this guy take?
After he shared his frustrations with us, we were shown that beneath Ace’s anger and defensiveness was deep exhaustion and uncertainty. Ace’s lady asked me whether they would be able to sort it out, and whether Ace would finally settle into his new home.
I answered that I am only meant to provide information and messages about what is presently happening and that once we have opened ourselves to the truth of others and the wisdom available to us through the intuitive readings, solutions often begin to present themselves.
I suggested that Ace’s lady, Barbara, might spend some time looking inwards to see what she needs from this situation. If she was to place herself firmly in the collective spirit of this family of hers, it was just as important to acknowledge her own needs and how things were affecting her.
That completed our session, and Barbara went back to her family and their challenges; freshly informed with a better understanding of the dynamics and emotions at play.
Since then, my thoughts often turn to Ace and Dexter and Barbara and their family, as I wonder at this phenomenal lady and the loving tender family she has created. And so I was very excited to receive an update from Barbara just the other day. I was eager to hear how things were working out in her home.
She had sent a note to say that things were going well. Ace had discovered how to blend into the family, even with those personalities that he had found so challenging. Of course, it turns out that he has a lot in common with those he once clashed with. Isn’t that just the way – we get repelled when our own extremes are reflected in others. So much to learn from this dear boy…
Barbara shared that she had spoken clearly to the group, especially Ace and Dexter, and told them that she was tired of working so hard to maintain the peace. And that she needed her home to return to its previous peaceful ways. She removed the barrier that had been separating Ace from the rest of the dogs, and trusted that they would consider her wishes and honour her needs.
Since then, it seems that Ace is in love with his new family. Barbara reported that he loves being with everyone. She says that when group members are missing, he looks for them and wants them to join the others.
This is when I was hit right between the eyes with my revelation about leadership between humans and animals. It sent my confusion packing and now I am settled firmly in the clear understanding of what leadership is really all about.
This dog Ace, and his newfound lady Barbara, have helped me see that the most important part of leadership is heart; that when a leader is working from a heart-centered perspective, she is transformed into a person of service.
By leading with her heart-centered perspective, Barbara has become a true custodian of her family’s well-being. Working with the principles of munay (unconditional love), tupay (full disclosure) and ayni (right relationship), she has created harmony in her household.
This is a concept of leadership that I can really get behind: to allow each group member to speak their truth and to accept them unconditionally; to include your own truth in the discussion; and to empower each individual to make their own choices based on their place in the whole.
As I move forward with this elegant understanding rooted deeply in my heart, I am grateful for my path. And I am grateful for the paths of others and the way they intersect with mine. Because it is when we meet our fellow travellers on our journey that we learn the most.
I will be informed by this profound experience with Ace – yes, a boxer – for many years to come. So - thank you to Ace and Barbara. And I offer my thanks to the web of crossroads that brought you into my life. For I have received a gift from you that I would never have been able to find on my own.
Tamryn Fudge is an animal communicator, dog trainer and shamanic practitioner and student. She offers shamanic dog training to help you and your dog get closer and love deeper - for aggression and behaviour problems, everyday learning and puppy teaching. Group and private sessions available.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 250-573-1744
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