Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Pain of Love

Ridge doesn't understand.

Last night, Baxter and Elsie received their bedtime treats; Ridge didn't. This morning, Baxter and Elsie received their breakfasts; Ridge didn't. Last night and this morning, Baxter and Elsie went through their normal routines; Ridge couldn't.

Ridge goes to the doggie dentist today, and the vet told us to restrict his food. We know that refusing Ridge treats and breakfast are part of what's necessary to ensure a safe procedure today, but he doesn't know that. All he knows is that he's hungry. And his tooth hurts.

What he doesn't know is this: to foster his healing, we have to put him through additional discomfort--all out of love and concern. But that means little to him. I wish I could explain to him, but Labs (no matter how we humanize them) have limitations. He can't understand. He just has to trust us. And he does.

Again, I'm amazed how life with Labs reflects life with people.

Don't we sometimes have to do the same with our human loved ones? Out of love and a desire for healing we do the uncomfortable (even painful) thing. We give our children vaccinations; we set boundaries for our teenagers; we confront a co-worker; we say the honest, but difficult, thing to a friend. Our intentions are good, and our motives are loving, but our humans may not understand. Not at the time, anyway.

But later, in hindsight, our loved ones may see the care behind our actions.

Dogs don't have the benefit of hindsight. Ridge won't be able to look back next week when he's finally pain free and think, oh...that's why I coudn't eat last week; that's why mom and dad treated me that way. But I guess that doesn't really matter.

Whether he understands us or not, we've done the right thing; his tooth will be fixed; and he'll be painfree. I can live with that.

'Til next time,

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