Tomorrow is “Take Your Dog To Work Day.” I’m one of the lucky folks who does this every day–the cat, too–and after the past week that I’ve had, really question why anyone would not want to do this.
I don’t want to turn this into an Amy Pity Party so suffice it to say I hurt my back last Sunday, pulling weeds. Turned me into cranky-saurus. Pain will do that to you. So will stoopid dumb moves, because I could have prevented this–which somehow makes the pain worse. Funny how many things you CAN’T do when no longer able to bend over, get up off chairs, climb stairs–even get dressed.
I have new respect for those who live with disabling discomfort for years on end.
For the first time, I’ve received treatments from a talented chiropractor–twice a day–and slowly my mobility has improved. Oh, I’d researched and written about these treatments before in several of my pet books (sidebar at right) in relation to veterinary medicine, but it’s different to be on the receiving end.
Magic and Seren know when I hurt. Neither is “trained” as a service animal, but they sure did a fine job acting the part. Magic managed to climb into my lap–all 85+ pounds–and I could feel my stress, blood pressure and pain melt away as I hugged him. I had no choice, he insisted.
Seren set aside kitty snarkiness about the dog and stayed by my side. Her head only spun around a couple of times when the dog’s tail nearly thwacked her. Nothing prompts a kitty hissy fit like a rude dog tail.
Monday night after the first two treatments I presented a webinar Senior Moments: Quality of Life Issues for Aging Pets that had been scheduled for many weeks. As always, got a bit choked up during the portion about making choices. How do you know it’s the right time? Do pets understand end-of-life issues? Can they tell you when they’ve had enough? With my back, the doctor’s Xrays and tests diagnosed a sprain that should resolve with treatment. But pets don’t get the benefit of knowing the diagnosis. They don’t know that one moment they’re well, and the next the vet says they have cancer, for instance.
What a gift! Pets don’t deal with the “what if” or scary unknowns because–they don’t know! Pets only know how good they feel right now–they only know that they love you, you are there with them, and they trust you to keep them safe. Let me repeat that–
Pets live in the moment. THIS moment–when they feel safe, well, loved–that’s all they know. They care deeply how YOU feel, too–whether they show it directly or not. We are more connected to each other than most of us realize, and how sad that it often takes illness, injury or tragedy for us to slow down and figure that out. Like a stoopid back injury from pulling weeds.
I want to be more like Magical-Dawg and Seren-kitty! I want to live in the moment, enjoy THIS cup of coffee, hold safe in my heart the way fur feels beneath my hands, cherish the poetry of cat-dance, laugh out loud at doggy-on-his-back-gyrations with stuffed toys. I want to stop saying, “later” when an invitation for now-fun appears. Turn that get-‘er-done stuff into a more-fun-all-the-time list.
Since I was a kid, I’ve yearned to know what dogs and cats think. And as an adult I’ve spent hours, weeks, years studying and unraveling the mysteries between those furry pointed ears. Even in my fiction, the theme continues–just WHAT are they thinking? Wouldn’t it be kewl to really know–to understand, maybe even read their minds? For pet lovers, what a joy–for the less gifted folks who dislike or even fear pets, would “hearing” their thoughts drive ’em crazy?
What do our pets really think? Bet we’d be shocked. Maybe even insulted. Because my pets are very likely smart-asses. Betcha the Magical-Dawg thinks, “Why does she stare at that box-thing all day when she could toss Frisbees and SNIFF stuff!” And the Seren-kitty thinks, “Lap time. Now. That’s MY lap. Move the @#$%^&*(! box-thing! Oh, and lose the devil-dawg.”
At my house, Take Your Pet To Work Day happens every day. I’ve just not been listening.
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