Does your support network support you?
Working as a canine professional or self-employed professional from home bypasses all the potential friendships that we could make through the shared experience of a job. Even the worst positions at the most harrowing workplaces lead to striking up true friendships and long term relationships. If you live alone and only meet clients, you may be missing a strong support network and be susceptible to compassion fatigue. This is particularly relevant because many dog guardians see us as their chance to offload and we end up taking all their dark energy and fear home with us. Some of the things I have been told when consulting on dog behaviour would make your toes curl, and I’m sure you have – or will encounter – similar things too.Sally Gutteridge
The type of work that we do as dog professionals can be exhausting. Dog loss is something that affects all of us, even if it’s not our dog and we haven’t lost them first hand. We can often take on people’s grief and in such large amounts that we simply have nowhere to put it. Friendships, family and fun put things into perspective. A bad day at work can become just that when there’s something else at the end of it. But if it’s all there is, it can become your entire life.
Having a support network is directly related to being part of a support network. To have friends you must also be a friend. There are people in the world who take more than they give, unable to see that they leave people feeling used and bruised. Usually these people have developed a self-protection habit that will eventually isolate them and often they can’t see it.
As part of self-care, when someone is continually taking from you, you have to create and maintain a safe distance, most importantly remember that their behaviour is about them not you. True friendship is equal and even – sometimes it means supporting and sometimes it means being supported in return. When people can’t oer support – for their own reasons – they usually nd that when they need someone, they are all alone, which is very sad. We often see this type of behaviour in people that have addictions to either substances from outside themselves or beliefs and destructive patterns within.
Ask yourself now how much support you offer to others and whether they offer you the same amount back. Are your friendships (with your friends AND your family) conducive to your good health?
Take a look at my book on Amazon The Dog Professional's Survival Guide.