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(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. —Astrological Definition)

Bentley traditionally stops at the pool gate entrance from the back yard and waits for me to get there to open it. He’s found that he can open it himself now, but he still waits for me to get there before he opens it himself. I guess he feels that’s the correct procedure. I read a story of a guy, outraged that his puppy relieved itself in the living room, who threw the dog out the first floor window into the yard each time the dog did that, to train it. He did: The dog learned to relieve itself in the living room and then jump out the window.

We have to be careful about how we “condition” people or inadvertently “train” them. Some of you have conditioned others to take advantage of you, to always seek a “deal” or a favor, or to be late and non-accountable. Some of you have actually conditioned your kids to lie to you. Some of you easily trigger suspicion and distrust.

Of course, you can also train a dog to relieve itself in the yard, or not to wait at the gate. And you can condition people not to expect a deal, to be on time, and to show respect. All of that is up to you.

All of this works both ways, of course. Bentley knows that if he keeps nosing me while I’m reading, I’ll pet him. Quid pro quo.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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