Wednesday, July 20, 2011


O/our dog died today.  Well, technically, she died yesterday.
She's gone.
And W/we are sad.
She is the submissive younger sister of O/our dog Duke, who died on 10/8/08.  I've written about her before. The lack of bond I had with her, due in part I think, to her submissive nature.  My bond with her brother was strong and deep, he was my heart and soul in many ways.
But in the past few years I've learned from her.  And grown attached to her.  And I miss her.  Master misses her.  Out vet and his assistants were crying too.
She was a trooper.  She lived through a lot of adversity in her life - many surgeries for a variety of ailments, things that perhaps as the runt of the litter she had to deal with.  Yet she never complained.  Never cried or whined (unless kept separated from us.)
She was long-suffering, perhaps to a fault.  Had she indicated how badly she was feeling W/we could have helped her sooner, made her more comfortable even if W/we couldn't prolong her life.
And in that lies a lesson to me.  From one submissive to another.  Ask for help. Don't be so stoic.  It's not weakness to allow yourself to be a burden to someone else.
She loved to please people - especially Master.  She was a Daddy's girl, like me, even though she clearly respected and obeyed me, our bond just wasn't as strong as hers with PirateDaddy.  Can't fault her for that, He's the one I love to please also.
She was good to the cat, and kind to others.  Protective and affectionate, and sweet natured.
RIP Duchess (12/4/97 - 7/19/11)

Dog's Purpose, from a 4-year-old

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker's death,wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

In the world of hi-tech gadgetry, I've noticed that more and more people who send text messages and emails have long forgotten the art of capitalization. For those of you who fall into this category, please take note of the following statement:
"Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse."
Is everybody clear on that?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On Quitting vs Letting Go

 W/we've been watching a TV series together called "Men Of A Certain Age".  The episode this week was frustrating to watch as our characters made some poor choices which kept them in destructive or negative patterns in their lives.  And W/we were a bit irritated with the writers for not allowing some good and positive outcomes in the lives of the characters.

One of the characters decided to give up on a life-long dream to be a golfer, and he told his friend it was ok, he didn't need it.  And I think what he was really doing was giving up rather than try, because he felt it was worse to try and fail than to not try at all.

Well tell that to Don Quixote!  Or the ancient proverb (probably Chinese or Japanese) which tells us that success means getting up every time we fall.  Try telling that to my Dad who always told me that nothing beats a failure but a try.  (As a little girl I didn't understand that one very well, but I figured it out in time.)

Our golfer guy, Joe, just gave up rather than face the struggle.  Rather than upset his kids, family, and friends.  Rather than let himself down.  He quit instead.  Irony there, since the ultimate let down is never trying.  Yes, sometimes we do need to let go of dreams or goals or plans that no longer meet our needs or suit our lives.  But that isn't the same thing as quitting to avoid heartache and pain and fear and worry and...oh you get the point.

I hope in time that the writers will help this character develop some, well, character.  I hope that we will see growth, and that he will learn some universal truths.  It's not that I want him to be perfect, and never have problems.  That wouldn't be very interesting nor realistic, and drama does need to be believable.  It's just that I'd like him to not consistently make such poor choices.

And I have no more ability nor control over how the storyline develops with this character than I do with how other people's lives develop. And so often I may have learned and understood and internalized a universal truth, but I can do nothing to impart that wisdom to another.  Sadly, so very often, those truths have to be learned the hard way, and on one's own schedule.  And it remains frustrating to me, the fixer, that I can't give everyone the wisdom they need (according to my mind anyway) when they need it.  I have to shut up and let them find the wisdom for themselves.  And that is hard.  And when the wisdom is found, and forward progress is made, and positive outcomes begin to manifest, I am so relieved, and happy.  Whether it's in the life of a friend, loved one, family member, employee, or acquaintance, it's a beautiful thing when realization dawns and the momentum shifts, and the ultimate provisions of the universe abound.

Letting go of my desire to control and make everything be ok is huge, and a key here.  Letting go.  Let go. Don't worry, don't fret, breathe.  Be prepared for the worst when I can take steps to avoid the worst.  But for situations and people over which I have no control, stop being prepared for the worst, and just let it go.  Being prepared won't make the bad any easier to bear, it really won't. Stop wasting time fretting and worrying and being scared.  Let go.

Try, fail, try again. Let go of fear and worries, breathe.