Circle of Benign Neglect
Every owner I have ever come across will have gone through a stage in their animal care where they assumed that everything they were doing for their animals was correct. There are very few owners who actively set out to look after their animals in a poor way. How silly would that be? Owners do what they feel is best and mostly the animals are ok.
Within the framework of support that gets provided, the vast majority of animals go well for a large chunk of time. We are genuinely blessed with a wealth of information in books, on the internet and within the animal professions on how to look after animals well. So for the novice animal owner there is every opportunity to get it right.
As we know though, from time to time things go wrong and you can end up at your local vet practice having the problem sorted out. For this Red Level problem it is great to have a profession who are trained in the Red Level approaches that can help diagnose and treat all manner of problems.
There are two key issues here:
Nobody want their animal to be in the Red more than they can possibly avoid.
It never leaps straight form the Green to the Red. It goes form Green, through Amber, then to the Red.
If you have been lucky enough so far to avoid having to go to the local vet practice with you animal having a Red Level problem, then you are doing very well. Something about your:
Green Level management is working well.
Equally you may be quite skilled in Amber Level, where you can:
recognise the early signs of imbalance
use simple methods to steer the patient back to the Green.
If this is you, then congratulations.
If not, then be inspired. There are people out there who have animals who hardly ever have anything go wrong. The important question is:
What is it that they are doing right?
Having talked to many such owners over the years they have become very good at a couple of key things. The first is the art applying the principle.
The better you get at the Green and the Amber, the less time you will spend in the Red.
Sounds obvious really, and it is. The more effort you put into understanding the Green Level of excellent husbandry and the Amber Level of subtle, natural management before events escalate to the Red, then the healthier animals you will have.
The other thing that such owners have got good at is:
Making it look easy.
There is a kind of effortless harmony in the way they interact and look after animal in their care.
Consistent with so many crafts there is a lot of work that actually needs to be done before you get to this stage. When you are there, to the outsider, it looks deceptively simple.
In fact from the outside novice and master can look a bit similar. In reality they are both on the Circle of Benign Neglect:
With the novice there is a benign neglect through simple ignorance that there was a better way. It is only the visits to the Red Level that help the owner start to question.
With the master there is an illusion of benign neglect as the impression of casual effortlessness is given.