Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's Not Fair!

The weather has been lousy here -- rainy, drizzly, grey, and cold (well, cold for rain - high 30s and low 40s). And it's supposed to be for another few days.

It's just not work-with-the-dogs-outside weather.

So last night DH, took the little Pinot girl into our laundry/kennel/utility room to do some really basic obedience training and short-distance retrieving work (yes, Pinot has a retriever, a real retriever, buried inside her!).

Well, you can imagine what that did to the four remaining canines in the family room. :o)


Elsie, Kenya, and Ridge (below, l-r) stood at the laundry room door with heads cocked and ears perked the entire time Don worked with Pinot (Baxter chilled on the couch):

You could almost hear them: Hey, that's not fair! Dad's working with the runt and not us!

The kids have yet to learn that "fair" doesn't mean "equal." "Fair" technically means "marked by impartiality and honesty: free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism" (Merriam-Webster, 6a).

Whether the canine kids knew it or not, Don's working with Pinot wasn't about favoritism; it was more about what was important for her at this time in her development.

Our human kids had to learn this principle, too. Sometimes one needed more help with homework, or another needed more time to talk. We did our best to give each what was important for that one at a given time. We worked with them according to their needs.

Was the amount of time or help we offered each always the same? No. Were the lengths of our conversations equal? Of course not ("Mom, what time is practice tomorrow?" requires far less time to answer or work through than "Mom, do I have to go to school tomorrow? My teacher hates me.")

But our actions with our humans, to the best of our abilities and though not always equal, were fair. At least we tried (and still try) to make them so.

Do we do this perfectly? No, of course we don't (we are only human). But more than once we had to remind the kids (and ourselves) that fair doesn't mean equal. And that that's okay.

So it goes with our canine gang.

And since canines live in the moment, as soon as Don finished and returned with Pinot to the family room, all was forgiven and forgotten.

Then the snuggling began!

If only humans were so forgiving.

'Til next time,

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Mary said...

It's nice to see we aren't the only ones that have a large lab be a lap dog.

kayceebeebee said...

I love how the others are watching the bottom of the door!

Yours is one of my favorite blogs and I so enjoy seeing photos of your labs. They are so cute. I know I've said that before (many times) but it's true. Aren't dogs wonderful! Especially labs! They have such personality.

Charlie said...

Humans could learn a lot from their dogs if they're willing to.
- Charlie

JuliaR said...

You know, I think I can hear them thinking from here!