“Leave me alone, I’m talking to my dog today.”


“Leave me alone, I’m talking to my dog today.”

That sentence is emblazoned on my tee shirt. And I wear it proudly.

Why would I want to talk to my dog? Dogs seem to love you unconditionally. No matter what you say to them, they are happy to listen, offer no comments, and in the end you might get a nice kiss or a wag of the tail.

They hold your space. There is no condescension, no frowns or kindly smiles, just quiet listening. What’s wrong with that. Why are we required to comment when someone opens their heart to us? Why can’t people just let the words be.

Is there an expectation that when we talk that someone must respond? Sure, if you want a response a nice “what do you think?” can elicit it. But even if you ask, do you really want a response? Sometimes isn’t it enough just to get it ‘off your chest.’ Doesn’t forming thoughts into words help you find your way and come to conclusions without outside input.

I have never visited a psychiatrist but from what I have heard, 99% of the conversation is from the patient. The doctor usually simply turns questions around and asks what the patient thinks about what they just said. Isn’t that basically the same as no response at all. Sure the doc sometimes offer a hint, but the real solutions come from within.

Time to change my shirt. The new one says “Live Recklessly, Park Wisely.” Are these words to live by? I’ll ask the dog.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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