Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Things You Learn From Dogs

"The Realm of Dogdom" has been buzzing with all kinds of activity lately. Our dog Specky started to feel poorly, very poorly, last week. Scared the you-know-what-out of us as we haven't really recovered from the loss of our other dogs at the beginning of the year.
Turns out Spec had an abscessed tooth. Now, I don't know about you, but I've had an abscessed tooth and it hurts like nothing else I've ever had to hurt! As we moved through the (hopefully) healing process with her, I realized she had a few, okay, a lot of things to teach me.
  1. It's okay to let someone spoil you. Especially when you don't feel good. It makes you feel a little bit better and it makes the other person feel better too.
  2. You have to trust that everyone is doing their best even when their best doesn't seem to be cutting it. 
  3. Even if you have a lot of history with mean people, give a new person a chance until they prove they're not to be trusted. If they come at your nether regions with sharp, pointy things, they are no longer trustworthy and should be treated as such. Warn them to leave your nether regions alone. Bare your teeth and/or growl. If this fails to slow down the sharp, pointy thing or the person holding it, then by all means, introduce them to your own sharp, pointy things (teeth).
  4. Forgive them if they do not heed your warning and insist on sticking you with the sharp, pointy thing (see #3), and don't hold a grudge because they might be holding a treat (see #1). 
  5. Try not to be grouchy and if you are grouchy, because let's face, abscessed teeth HURT!, stay as quiet as possible, say as little as possible and take frequent naps. If you say as little as possible, chances are good you won't hurt anyone's feelings and you won't have to apologize as much later. 
  6.  If someone makes special food or treats for you, show them how good they are and how much you appreciate it by wiggling, whining, and getting excited all over. Be sure to lick the shine off the bowl to show your sincere appreciation of this special treatment (see #1). Who knows, you might score a second helping. 
  7. Don't be a pill about taking your pills, especially if they're wrapped in peanut butter. 
  8. When you feel better, be sure to let those taking care of you to know by being extra sweet, snuggly and slobbery. They'll appreciate it. 
We call Specky our teflon dog because nothing seems to stick. No matter what, she's always Spec with a stronghold on being happy, loving her humans, and giving everyone a chance or a warning bark. In case you can't tell from the image, Specky is 5 or 6 different shades of browns and reds, hence the name.

In truth, I think she's probably kevlar, teflon, tutu and love all rolled into a speckled coat. Despite being in a highly abusive home for the first part of her life, she's as sweet as she can be....unless you have something sharp and pointy in your hands with an eye towards her nether regions. (Can't say as I blame her for that one!)

If you have a four-footed furry friend that has demonstrated some much need life lesson(s) for you, please share. I think we could all use some "feel good" stories today.

20 comments:

  1. Our dear sweet Luna came from a rough background too. She acts as if a newspaper is a sharp pointy thing. You don't have to go at her rear to make her afraid. It has taken years for her to trust humans. She trust me most and most of the time her Dad. Life can be misleading at times when the wrong person is at the helm. When we got her we were told she was "aggressive". There isn't an aggressive bone in her body. She just is not very trusting of anyone not in her pack. She is sweet and loving to all she allows into her pack. We love her dearly too.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. Spec is wary, but seldom afraid. She thinks she's 10 feet tall and bullet-proof, but one of other dogs was much as you describe Luna.

      Sounds to me like Luna's a pretty smart puppy if she's chosen you to be in her pack!

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  2. I had to smile as I read this because it is so true. Having had three rescue dogs I can honestly say that they make the very best pets. Each one has a personality all his/her own but each one has taken the love given, multiplied it, and then returned it without reserve. Glad your Specky is feeling better!

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    1. Yes, rescued animals seem to know more than most what's precious. Thanks for the good wishes for Spec.

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  3. Sweet Specky! Keep on that healing streak :)
    A great post, Laure. Such good fur friend lessons!

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    1. Thanks, Pam, she's getting ready to come of the meds....so we'll wait to see how she does and whether we need further intervention.

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  4. Wonderful post! I'm happy to hear Miss Spec is on the mend--and that she has such wise humans who learn from her! I've learned from Scout not to be TOO quick to respond to others' requests (think about them first), though that's not a particularly good trait in a dog!

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    1. Scout's such a smart puppy!! A little stubborn too (which is not necessarily a bad thing).

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  5. Seems the time for caring for our critters. I have 5 rescue dogs and one cat. These last couple of weeks my oldest dog - a beautiful german shepherd of almost 14 years has had a tough time with her back and some allergies. From her I realize that pain is inevitable, suffering optional. She stays on her pad quietly licking her sore spots but never complains. How do dogs complain? Humans have the capacity to worry about how their heath is affecting their life etc, etc, and the worry factor leads to mental suffering. Animals are in the moment. We also lost our oldest cat of 16 years. From that I learned she lived her life right up to the last day. I also learned as from all losses that I pay attention to all in my life more. Let all living beings ( humans included) know how much I care about them with my compassionate actions. There is always more we could have done but there are those left we can still do that for.
    Thanks so much Laure for your post. I learn so much from my furry and finned friends.

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    1. A 14 year old shepherd? Wow! That's unusual. And I was saddened to hear of your loss of your cat. That's a tough one. We're still getting over losing our 20 year old cat....and yet, they teach us to live each day in the moment and like it was our last.

      I love you're comment about how they teach us to pay attention to all in our lives rather than go on autopilot.

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  6. So glad Spec is feeling better...and you, too! We worry so over our furry babies, don't we?
    My dog (the 1st dog we've had that's all mine!) was abandoned at 10 months. It took a long time for him to warm up, over 2 years, and we often wondered who he really was. He's so laid back, kind of blah, even.
    At 7 years old we're beginning to see sides of his personality we didn't expect. Caleb is friends with one of our cats (Jean Louise is 2 yrs) and she eats with him. When they eat together, he gobbles but leaves a spot on his plate for her to eat. If she's not there when he gets fed, he saves some of his dinner for her. When she comes to eat after he's done, he'll go sit with her as she chows down his leavings. And we didn't think he cared much about anything, but he does this time and again....
    Before Caleb we had a dog, Tristan, who would beg when we had french toast or pancakes. He barely tasted them he ate them so fast. So it was weird when he started asking to take a pancake or french toast outside, unbitten. Turns out, he'd put it on the bottom step in our garage and later the 'possum that lived upstairs in the garage, would come down and eat it. We didn't know it at the time, took us months to figure it out, but he asked for his favorite eats to leave for his buddy.
    Gotta love 'em....

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    1. Awwww, what sweet stories, Susie! And yes, "gotta love 'em" sums it up. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Spec sounds like a little Buddha dog to me...ever loving no matter what, OK, aside from the pointy things heading towards one's nether regions! Everything in stride is what she also is teaching I think! Hope Spec is back to herself soon! Give her a pat on the head for me...
    Hugs and hope you are well my friend,
    Beth P

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    1. Hi, Beth! Hope all is well with you too! We're mending...all of us. Spec's doing better. We just have to see what happens once she's off her meds. Hugs back to you!

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  8. Glad Spec is feeling better. We have had four beagles now and they are full of love. One is sitting on my feet as I type and another one is poking his now in the garbage to see if there is anything exciting (there isn't ). An abscessed tooth hurts. It always amazes me to see how accepting animals are of their pain and difficulties. I wish I could be more like that in my life...

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    1. There are definitely lessons to be learned from our animals on how to live in the moment and how to keep moving regardless of our pain....I know I could certainly learn a thing or two more!

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  9. So glad Spec is feeling better. What beautiful eyes she has. I too am amazed at how our fur babbies endure pain and suffering and often it is hard for us to know. I have two rescued Daschunds and they are the very best. They came with issues but are so appreciative that they have a forever home. Woodrow came from a very abusive home and Darby is an escapee from a puppy mill. He was on the 'run' with a Border Collie for six weeks before they were finally caught. He is the funniest little thing and has such a love for life. Just a few months after he came to live with us, his knee started popping out of joint and he would go lame. We had two options: put him down or have the knee replaced. He has a new artifical knee and it hasn't slowed him down a bit.
    My boys send good wishes to Spec for a speedy recovery. Me too of course. ;-)
    PS I highly recommend the book "A Dog's Purpose" http://www.adogspurpose.com/ for a wonderful read. It does have a sad moment or two but a very happy ending.

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  10. I hope Specky is doing better now. Our pets are so important to us. I know they make us better people just by teaching us unconditional love.

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  11. She's a cutie! Hope that tooth is all better by now. What I've learned from dogs was expressed best by someone else and I don't know who it was but it is Dog = God. Spelled either way, it's the best mankind has going!

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  12. ....ahhhhhhhhh...so sweet. I hope Spec (isn't that Pee Wee Herman's dog's name?) is on the mend. Dogs are angels...

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