What Fearless Fidos Can Teach Us About Rejection

This week’s post is a guest-post by Dina at Critter Writer. I plan to include guest posts along with my own writings as I want this to become a community that includes other people’s perspectives, and also shares your amazing ideas. If you are interested in guest-posting on Biscuit Life Companion, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via our contact form.

Let’s face it. Most humans live their lives in constant fear of rejection. So much so that we miss out on opportunities that could potentially change our lives. Just to avoid awkward, confidence busting rejection. Consider how dogs deal with rejection. Have you ever observed the dynamics that come into play at a busy dog park? Our dogs barrel towards one another with reckless abandon, convinced they are destined to meet their new best friend. Sometimes that’s how it works out, and the two of them romp happily together. Other times the approaching dog is met with raised hackles and curled lips. Either way, our dogs don’t miss a beat. They either enjoy their new companion, or sprint on to the next pooch.

When humans experience rejection in our personal or professional lives, we brood, cry and ponder Oogy, white dog on red chairourselves silly trying to figure out where we went wrong. If only we could take a lesson from our dogs’ playbooks. Not to say we shouldn’t grieve when we get passed over for a promotion, or we lose a friend over a silly argument. It hurts when something important slips from our grasp, but the difference between our dogs and ourselves is how we react to that loss.

Which is more likely to propel us forward in life? Putting on a confident smile and attacking our goals head on, or playing armchair quarterback safely from the sidelines? We all know the answer. The difficult part is how to bring that aspect of our personalities to the surface. I can’t help but think of Oogy, the bait dog who passed away just last month after becoming the imperfect face of dog fighting and inspiring the world to rally for change.

When Oogy was just a pup he was tied up, used as bait for a pit bull fighting ring, and left for dead with catastrophic injuries. His left ear was torn off, his jaw and skull fractured. He nearly bled to death before police raided the home where he was being kept. Over the course of his life, Oogy underwent several surgeries to remove scar tissue and bone fragments from his face and to fight infection. Oogy’s facial muscles and left eye were permanently damaged causing unknowable pain. Beyond the physical wounds, Oogy grappled with the psychological damage of extreme abuse. Human response to his strange appearance was sometimes fearful and sometimes cruel.

Instead of succumbing to his emotional scars and turning inward from the species that had inflicted such senseless violence upon him, Oogy sought out human contact. He was adopted by a wonderful family and became one of the most inspirational and influential dogs in the world after a 2008 appearance on Oprah and a bestselling book. His ability to overcome such insurmountable odds and unspeakable abuse has raised awareness and sparked political change on the subject of dog fighting. The world is a better place because Oogy lived in it.

Every day is a new opportunity for us to change the way we interact with the world. Draw inspiration from Oogy, or maybe that endlessly optimistic terrier at the dog park. Run towards your dreams with reckless abandon. If you hit a wall, change course and run harder!