I am walking a path to live a better life. A significant aspect of my journey has been to struggle with anger and with fear. This weekend was one of those times.
Whenever I find myself in the middle of those feelings, I have learned to look to Rumpy and DeDe to see how they respond to their feelings.
When angry, my dogs bare their teeth in warning. DeDe tries to take Rumpy’s food and sometimes he lets her have it; but if he wants it for himself, he lets her know in no uncertain terms to leave his food alone. Invariably, DeDe complies and everyone is back to normal. If she by chance does not heed his warning, she will probably be the recipient of an angry nip. But that’s it. The reaction matches the situation.
Fear? Rumpy seems fearless, but DeDe does experience fear. Ironically, the only thing she seems to fear is people. If I tell her No! with a harsh tone of voice, she cringes. I have no idea why she does that; perhaps it’s a response she learned in her past.
And yet, when the moment has passed, DeDe is back to her happy self. She responds well to people otherwise. She does not live in the fear.
Last year when Sage’s health went downhill and I struggled with knowing what was best for her, I watched Rumpy care for her. He was sad for Sage because she was hurting. He mothered Sage and protected her. And when the day came that we said good-bye, Rumpy took it hard.
Granted, neither dog understands what has happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. Still, I take my cues from them. Feel the emotions. Take whatever action is needed to prevent future incidents. And when the time comes, gather our resolve and move on.
I hope this time we all do just that.