Premature expectations are a big hassle for practical life.

Dax Bamania

Our dog, Hugo, would completely agree with this quote. He has narrowly definded expectations and finds it unacceptable when they are not met. Not only must they be met, they must be met in a consistent manner.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with a technician to install new blinds in the living room at 10 a.m. This required some rearranging of our daily schedule. Rearranging is not a word Hugo is fond of. His expectation is to have breakfast followed by a morning walk. On this day, we went for a walk before breakfast. He let his displeasure be known by not only refusing to eat his breakfast, but by giving me a disgusted look and crawling under the bed. Of course, he was the one hurt by his behavior.

The French word for pet is, animal de compagnie. Translated it means, an animal companion. Not only is Hugo my companion, I often think he teaches me more than I teach him. Yesterday was a lesson in managing expectations. I didn’t live up to what Hugo expected and he reacted in a manner that hurt him more than it did me. How often have I acted out of frustration over something that didn’t work out as I planned and ended up only hurting myself? Learning to mange exceptions is a useful skill to have.

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