Saturday, June 30, 2012

Life Long Learning

I'm almost forty. My age isn't a big deal for me; I'm not one of those people that hides it or even cares. In a couple of years, give or take, I'll have been on this lovely planet for four whole decades. Why does that matter?

I feel like I should be smarter by now.

This week, I learned a couple things in spite of myself.

Right where he belongs
Monsoon, at some point this week, injured his paw. I knew it was hurting him, as even the threat of touch made his lip curl. Watching his face carefully, blocking his muzzle with my arm, I examined him and although the paw was quite swollen and obviously painful, there was no obvious external injury. That leaves us with the possibilities of a break or a sprain, and I had little choice but to wait and see how he progressed.

Over a couple days, he gradually improved. The limp became less severe, the swelling went down, and Monsoon seemed to be in a better humor overall. So I celebrated by being a huge jackass and making idiot mistakes that you'd expect from someone who just landed on this planet and had no idea what "Dog" was. When he was curled up on my bed, looking sleepy and adorable, I tried to incite him to play. He huffed a little and pulled his head away, and while it was obvious he wasn't in the mood, I decided he just needed a little encouragement. I ruffled his ears, made silly noises at him, and completely ignored what he was telling me. No eye contact, tension in his muscles, grumblings of malcontent.

No problem! I can convince him he wants to interact! When I leaned over and rubbed a hand over his rump, he snapped. He snarled, whipped around, and caught me just under the right eye. Not bad, barely broke the skin, but my dog bit me. In the face.

Because I was not listening to what he was clearly saying.

Because I decided in my infinite human wisdom that those signals didn't apply to me. He loves me so much! Surely, I thought confidently, he'll just get over his boo boo and his cranky mood and understand I want to cheer him up and make him all better.

It's pretty humbling to share this with you folks. I don't need you to point out what I did wrong; I know damn well where I failed. I don't need a lot of reassurances that Monsoon isn't a bad dog; he's not. I really don't need a lot of really well-meaning people telling me to get him to the vet ASAP; he's almost back to normal already and this is not a thyroid condition.

So why share? Because after a crying fit and hours of weepy self-recrimination and doubt and shoulda-woulda-coulda... Monsoon limped over and put his head in my lap. He pressed in close, just like the first day we met, and sighed. He kissed my tears and gave a single little wag of his tail.

I'm not new to dogs, and I read them well. I made a stupid, stupid mistake and the one who pays when people make mistakes like this is always, always the dog.

My mistake was not in bringing this goofy little scaredy pup into my home.

That, I know, was a brilliant idea. I stand by it. And Monsoon stands next to me.

10 comments:

  1. I know you love Monsoon, and that he loves you! These things happen from time to time because we humans just think too darned much. I'm glad that you're not seriously hurt (besides your feelings) and I know that nobody is parting that boy from you! They'd have to cut off your arms and legs first to get away. My advice is to just be kind to yourself and forgive yourself the way he obviously has! (((hugs)))

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  2. I wish we could all forgive like our dogs do.

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  3. Big water in my eyes !! We ALL make mistakes and that is what they are -
    Love you Ali and Monsoon!!! <<<<>>>>

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  4. Oh, please don't beat yourself up over that. I'm sure we've all made that kind of mistake, and probably will again in the future. Just like with our interactions with people, we don't always get it right.

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  5. Hi Y'all,

    Just wanted to stop to see how your week was. Hope your weekend is a great one! So glad Monsoon came over and comforted you.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  6. I push Barbie all the time. She hasn't really snapped at me yet but I do get some growls out of her every now and again. Her level of tolerance is improving though and I can almost sprawl all over her now, things have changed from when I first got her and she would wake with a bark and a snap if you touched her while sleeping!! Anyway if I ever pushed it too far and she actually bit me, I think I would be a bit shocked but it wouldn't really be a big deal. You and Monsoon are just establishing your boundaries. You know now not to push him but he probably won't be so quick to snap at you next time either.

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  7. Oh bless you..... its so easily done, we just want to make them feel better and can't stand it when they don't.... Hope you two are all ok now.

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  8. Hi!

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  9. Hi Pyroclasm!


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    If you like this infographic and want to share it with your readers, please feel free to do so. The only thing that we ask in return is that you link back to TheUncommonDog dot com in some way from your post.

    As a way of showing our appreciation to those who choose to share the infographic, I'd be happy to spread the word about the blog post by linking to it from our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Just let me know that you posted it and send me the link.

    If you'd like to be removed from our contact list, please let me know.

    Happy Holidays!
    Tammy Sexton
    Marketing Coordinator
    Tammy at TheUncommonDog dot com

    ReplyDelete
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    Keep on keeping on, we're following you
    hugs,
    Lucy

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