On Being a Good Dog…

On Being a Good Dog…

On Being a Good Dog...
“International affairs is very much run like the mafia. The godfather does not accept disobedience, even from a small storekeeper who doesn’t pay his protection money. You have to have obedience; otherwise, the idea can spread that you don’t have to listen to the orders, and it can spread to important places.” ~~Noam Chomsky
I am a People-Pleaser. You’d think that this would lead me to much happiness and satisfaction in my dealings with other people, since my primary approach is to make sure others are happy. You know the type: ready to pitch in when there’s unpleasant work to be done, encouraging to even the lowliest loser, willing to give you the shirt off his back or the last dollar in her rainy-day fund… People-Pleasers seem like they haven’t a hostile bone in their bodies. In fact, People-Pleasers seem unusually adept at Suffering Internalized Torment (S.I.T.). But, as anyone with this disorder can tell you, quite the opposite is true. A People-Pleaser is like a dog~ obedient, loyal, always ready with a smile, a shoulder, or a silly trick intended to brighten your day (in other words, ready to S.I.T.)~ but People-Pleasing has a dark side, too.
One of the hallmarks of Pathological People-Pleasing is an irresistible need to be disobedient. How can that be, you ask? Think Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every time I feel compelled to Please Others, there is within me an urge to prove that I do not care if Others are Pleased. This leads to more than a few Situations Harboring Internalized Torment, or S.H.I.T., as it is commonly called. Here are some of the characteristics of someone who is experiencing S.H.I.T.:
  • rumination on the lack of respect, gratitude, affection, or general goodwill that one views as “acceptable” from the Person one is Pleasing
  • elevated levels of irritation, dissatisfaction, or frustration with the inconsideration of others- aka: negative self-talk
  • the desire to teach others a lesson about how to properly treat others- aka: Educating the Ignorant Other(s)- aka: superiority complex
  • a strong sense of Social Justice as it applies to the situations in which one is People-Pleasing- aka: martyrdom
  • problems with “authority”~ from negative internal dialogues, to passive-aggressive behavior, to outright trouble-making- aka: rebellion without cause
  • confused, irritated, or hostile reactions of others- aka: turbulent relationships
  • loss of friends, jobs, romantic partners, etc.- aka: abandonment

With all this going in inside, it’s no surprise that the outer life of the People-Pleaser is often quite a mess. If we are Good Dogs, we must S.I.T. Some professionals equate these behaviors and attitudes with personality disorders. And we People-Pleasers are definitely disordered in our personalities~ we put up with being treated like dogs by…well,… acting like Good Dogs. We S.I.T. when we want to run. The trouble is that we’re liable to also act like Bad Dogs~ biting the hand that feeds us, thwarting the plans of others, and derailing good relationships with our bad attitudes. In essence, we are full of S.H.I.T.

Individual humans are not the only perpetrators of S.H.I.T., though. History is filled with well-documented occurrences of S.H.I.T. on local, state, national, and even international levels. We expect everyone else to be Good Dogs, but deny our own tendency toward Bad Dog-ism. This leads to S.H.I.T.

What can we do about S.H.I.T.? The first step is to acknowledge that it exists, and that it comes from inside ourselves. There’s no sense in denying what is right in front of us. To ignore S.H.I.T. is to step right into it. We know from experience that S.H.I.T. isn’t easy to get rid of once we’ve stepped in it. We try to scrape it off, but it sticks to everything, and it just plain STINKS.

It’s important to remember that S.H.I.T. happens. It’s just part of life. The best we can do is a) learn how to recognize and clean up our own S.H.I.T., and b) learn how to control our S.H.I.T. There are many resources available to help in S.H.I.T. alleviation, including therapy, self-help books, and twelve-step groups. One good step is to learn how to S.I.T. …Interacting with others should not be a matter of obedience, but of mutual respect and satisfaction. We’re all Dogs, aka: Dreaming of Grand Selves. We all want to be Masters of our lives, but must S.I.T., for that is the way of things.

Meditate. Breathe deeply. S.I.T. in Silence & allow S.H.I.T. to pass without struggle, strain, or resistance.

Good God.

Mad World



For Dora Daffodil Treeflower. May you meet True Friends at the Rainbow Bridge & the Fields Beyond. ~Tallystarr


Today, we bid farewell

to Dora Daffodil Treeflower.

aka: “Piggy”

aka: “the Mountain Troll”

aka: the Little Clown

She was a Good Dog.

We really don’t know

where she came from.

We found her tied to the fence

around a trucking yard

in industrial East Oakland.

She was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

aka: Pit Bull.

In the four months that we’ve known her,

she has gained muscle tone,

social skills,

trust for humans,

and trust for another dog.

She enjoyed belly rubs,

ball games,


and playtime with Sadie.

She learned how to

go potty outside,

and even learned to

Rest Quietly

when we were gone

from her sight.

She overcame many

Terrible Fears & Anxieties.

How like US that is.

She reminded us that we, too

can overcome

our troubles & struggles.

We, too, can have

a chance at a better life,

no matter where we come from.


I watched an episode

of PBS’s Nova

about What Makes a Rampage Killer.

I saw dynamics & cycles

similar enough.

Dora was prone to

unprovoked aggression

against Sadie.

Despite our best strategies,

we were unable to stop the attacks.

The Last Time

was on the Fourth of July

when she attacked Sadie

within a few feet of our very young granddaughters.

We knew she was no longer safe to keep.

So many times,

we try to Heal All

with Love.

But that’s not the way the world works.

In the end, it’s all about RESOURCES.

We treat our dogs

like Humans

& our Humans like dogs.

It’s a Mad World.

I don’t have the Answers.

But I’m grateful for Dora.

She brought me many Lessons

about Love~

(it works wonders,

but it doesn’t

Conquer All

like they promised in the storybooks)

and Faith~

(we all deserve another chance)

and Trust~

(trust is the doorway to Love.

it is also a very

Risky Business).

and I’m glad we were able to give her

a Happy, Loving Home

until the end of her days.

Farewell, Dora Daffodil.

May you meet Many Friends

at the Rainbow Bridge

and the Fields Beyond.

Blessed Be.

Crazy Annie, Queen of Reality


Let freedom ring…