I'm training my dog to not pull on the leash. She has an obsession with sniffing every smell she finds, apparently scavenging for food (even though we feed her enough). Well, when she pulls, sometimes I just pull her back, tell her to sit, and not move. I hold the leash tight, so that she really can't do anything other than just sit there. When I do this, she quivers and has a look of anxiety and craving on her face, like she desperately just wants to obsessively and neurotically chase after the smells on the ground she follows... Sometimes, though, she seems to actually be putting forth effort to calm down, relax, and let go.
Also, she comes to me when she wants to go out. But I often make her wait. When she has to wait, she just lays down nearby and sits there, staring blankly or sleeping. I have a poster of a woman on my own wall... The other day, I saw her looking at it, and I looked over at her, thinking, "What the heck is she looking at that for?"
The traditional idea that animals are reborn as humans just by waiting for their karma to be exhausted just doesn't sit right with me. I mean, why should it apply to the woeful realms, but not the human realms also? I can't just sit in these human realms and "wait for my karma to be exhausted." I am reborn in higher realms through mindfulness and right action, and can actually fall into lower realms through a lack of mindfulness. Could this not hold true for beings in other realms? Don't animals put forth effort and concentration, in their own limited way?
An animal that is well-trained benefits psychologically. And I think that, for instance, a dog that is well-disciplined and well-loved will likely have a different rebirth than a wild dog. Am I wrong?
The best things in life aren't things.