had a really big insight recently- that my 3 dogs all represent parts of the “little girl” inside me. Yes- we all have one- the inner child, some call it. I am healing the past through them. Anything I lacked as a child, I make sure they have it, in full and then some.
Benjamin’s biggest need is- his need to be Acknowledged. He will look up at me, and wait for me to say ” Good job” or “That’s my boy”. he needs to know he is seen and heard. he needs to know I am paying attention, that I am fully present with him.
Lucille’s biggest need is- her need to be Understood. She is my complex girl- insecure, tempermental, and fiercely loving. All of these aspects shine in different ways, and she really needs me to “get her”. To know her boundaries, to be respected for who she is and to give her boundaries. This is what makes her feel secure and loved.
Madeline needs to be allowed to express herself. She needs to have freedom to be who she is. She loves to chase squirrels, really- this is her passion in life. I can’t often let her do it, but if I never let her do it- she would not be fully Madeline. So sometimes she gets to go for it, and in this freedom- she is her fully realized Self. This is her greatest need, to be herself.
All of their needs were mine, as a little girl. and because no one has a perfect childhood- my needs were not always met. I can’t heal the past. But there is something brilliant about projecting stuff onto my dogs- because when I meet their needs- I get to experience parenting my little girl. I am the loving, all present and all accepting Mom and Dad. I get to experience their contentment as my own.