Last summer there was a dead rabbit in our yard and Chester was carrying it around. I told myself that it had died of natural causes and he just found it. I guess I have to rethink that theory because unfortunately, he killed another. It’s the downside of dog ownership; I know these things happen. But it’s sad. I love the bunnies. The truth is, bunnies have been Chester’s arch-nemeses since we brought him home. He is halfhearted now about squirrels, but something about a bunny sets him off. How could he not love little furry cute bunnies? Because the Reality is, Chester is a dog.
He had no regret for his misdeed. He was pretty proud of himself and looked mighty happy. He went out the next morning and revisited the scene of the crime, sniffing around at who knows what (I know what, just don’t want to think about what) The cats have killed mice, voles, and taken the tail off of a chipmunk. The chipmunk was perfectly fine, just tail-less. I found the tail in the basement. Chester is bigger, but it’s still the food chain. He had to survive the mean streets of Cleveland somehow. It’s not warm and fuzzy, but it’s the reality of being a dog.
At work we have to do some mental exercises that may help in alleviating stress. Each day we are to apply certain strategies to manage a stressful situation. The task this week was to take a negative situation and try to reframe it to make it positive. Like making lemonade out of lemons. It irritates me to no end because I think it focuses on the wrong thing. The cause of the stress isn’t the situation. The real problem is in expectations. We use the word “should” like it’s the norm. I think that word should (😊) be banned. Why do we think we are so special that we should be happy and that it’s all about us? It’s not about should, it’s about is. It is what it is. If we always think people are only good, and we deserve only good, and people should be good to us, then we aren’t looking at reality.
Reality is facing the world head on with clear vision. We are all animals, good and bad, we pick on each other, we fly off the handle, kill each other, make mistakes and hurt each other just because we are not perfect. We are part of the food chain too. But, and this is a big but (I like big buts and I cannot lie…but I digress), if we accept this, it’s less stressful because there is no expectation or entitlement. Instead of “why me” it’s “why not me”. Not to say it isn’t difficult, but asking with these words is not as personal, it’s more about the inevitability of the situation due to being human. I don’t want to make the situation positive– It’s not. That fails to acknowledge that it happened. I want to say it is what it is. It may never be better but it happened because we are all perfectly imperfect. We have ups and downs. I’m not going to reframe the negative situation to try to make it positive–that’s not honest.
Back to Chester…is it weird that I don’t want him to lick me? Ew. I’m considering a loose muzzle for the springtime morning and evening backyard excursions. Enough is enough. I want to be able to feed the birds and enjoy the bunnies and squirrels. If he wants to chase them, he can go for it, but no more of this food chain stuff in my backyard. We spend way too much on dog food for that. So, I’ll be braving the pet store with the grandsons, which pretty much doubles my purchases. They like to get treats for Chester and the cats, decorations for the aquarium and an occasional tennis ball for themselves. We have a delightful outing and I enjoy their enthusiasm and questions. This is reality too. Knowing both realities make the sweet ones so much better.