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Mediation, Mongrels and Me

Mediation, Mongrels and Me

Mediation, Mongrels and Me

At least a couple of mediators I know regularly tweet (or should I perhaps say woof) about the involvement of their pet dogs in preparing for mediations.  That got me to wondering whether, taking into account the known therapeutic benefits of dogs e.g. in hospitals and care homes, they could usefully be involved in the actual mediation process.

My own dog is a cockapoo called Maisie (social media profile picture attached).  The terribly clever people in the marketing department at Poo UK Plc have, it seems, managed to brainwash everyone into thinking that whatever a poodle mates with (and let’s be honest they do seem to get around!) is a valuable cross breed rather than a good old-fashioned mongrel.

In terms of my own work as a mediator, this largely involves contentious wills, trust and probate cases, where there is a lot of emotion involved.  The presence of a dog, at least in a snout to snout mediation, may very well help to calm things down.  In other words, should we perhaps think of replacing KCs with K9s.

As an Aquarius Maisie is supposed to be a ‘big thinker’ but ‘eccentric’ so could perhaps help with coming up with left field solutions to the parties’ problems.  To be honest I think astrology is a load of rubbish but then again Taureans are supposed to be very sceptical.

From an administrative support perspective Maisie is very good at preserving confidentiality with her paper shredding but to be honest her dogged enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of her and she destroys too much but we are working on this in her performance reviews.

I think my only real concern is the sandwiches.  Appetising refreshments are the hallmark of any successful mediation.  Despite my having explained carefully to Maisie about property rights and that not all food is intended for her she just doesn’t seem to take this on board.  Although we tried to make her go to obedience classes when she was a puppy she point blank refused. Not perhaps surprising as Aquarians are supposed to be stubborn!  I have always found that children and pets are very effective for sharpening up my mediation skills.

Perhaps in the interests of authenticity we should have Maisie in one room and a cat in the other and then they can  do the ‘fighting like cat and dog’ in a joint session (possibly over the sandwiches) leaving me the mediator free to help the parties with resolving the actual dispute.

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