From the Coordinator I had a dog for a little while this summer. He was a rescue from a hoarding situation in another state. I got a lot out of our time together—our walks, play, belly rubs (for him, not me). I could say anything I wanted to him and, as long ... Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column  |   December 01, 2011
From the Coordinator
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Older Adults & Aging / Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column   |   December 01, 2011
From the Coordinator
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2011, Vol. 16, 31. doi:10.1044/gero16.2.31
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2011, Vol. 16, 31. doi:10.1044/gero16.2.31
I had a dog for a little while this summer. He was a rescue from a hoarding situation in another state. I got a lot out of our time together—our walks, play, belly rubs (for him, not me). I could say anything I wanted to him and, as long as I said it in a tone of voice that was calm and pleasant, he didn't argue with me. He stayed close to me and was a good companion. The problem was that I didn't know his history. I didn't know what might set him off, and I didn't know how to prevent him from doing something harmful to others. When we had guests or service providers in our house, the dog was unpredictable at best. Sadly, I made the decision to give him back to the rescue organization. I tell you this story because I learned a lesson from this 6-week encounter. The whole picture is important. The environment plays a key role in communication. Despite my approach, I never know how my communication partner is going to perceive what I say or whether the message I intended to convey will be the one received. I can't say I'm happy with my decision to return him, and I miss the dog, but I know I did the best thing for both the dog and my family. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. I remind myself of these truths each day at my job. I hope my clients are better off for having met me. Thank you for giving me a platform to wax philosophical about my life's lessons.
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