A lot has been made of this dog’s problem solving skills while some may fuss that the person filming is being cruel to animals. I can empathize with the dog at many points throughout the video and watching it makes me downright emotional.
Early in the video, Theo (the dog) shows frustration, you can hear him whimper a bit. He tries taking a step back to see if maybe he’s just not going fast enough….that doesn’t help. He lifts his head up higher, but the bridge’s railings are too high. Theo’s owner continues to cheer him on from afar. She could easily fix this problem for him but she doesn’t and he lets out another whimper.
Finally a random twist of the head and the end of the stick hits the bridge as he’s backing away…inspiration strikes. He takes a step back and enters the bridge with the stick at an angle and sails smoothly through with just a couple bumps along the railing.
For me, the demonstration of willpower is what is most remarkable in this video. You can feel Theo fighting his natural impulse to take the easy way out all because he wants that damn stick on the other side of the bridge so badly.
Theo could have easily dropped the stick and continued on the walk…maybe he would have found another one. He could have walked around the bridge and maybe been a little muddy. What was it that made him push just a little harder, to struggle just a few more moments to make it happen?
I don’t know much about Theo’s videographer but she doesn’t sound unpleasant…in fact she sounds extremely nice. She was encouraging Theo along the way and while she could have helped out…she didn’t. Picking up the stick and walking it across would breed dependency and Theo’s friend is trying to show him that he has the will to do what it takes.
Hopefully you’re surrounded by people like this in life. You probably grew up around them. An encouraging father, a tough love moment from your mom, a stern warning from a relative…who’s pushing you today?
I had a chance to hang out with a good friend today who always has this effect on me. Alana is a person I admire and is more than comfortable encouraging me to keep crossing the bridge. She’s been there before and probably knows how to get across but doing it her way would only make me more dependent on others.
One isn’t always better than the other, but recognize when the people around you just need someone to believe in them. Listen to the joy in the woman’s voice at the 45 second mark…probably my favorite part of the video.