The minute the Significant Other and I saw the man and his furry friend, we stopped in our tracks.
I heard the Significant Other mutter, “I just gave chase to this one and her cohort and I am in no condition to do another back breaking sprint.”
We tentatively took a few steps. I whispered to Roxy and pleaded with her to be nice.
The man and his furry friend came closer.
Until they were a foot in front of us.
Roxy, in her usual modus operandi, leaned in close. This time, the other dog did not pull away. He lifted a paw and gave a sharp bark. Soon, the two were playfully running in circles.
No teeth were barred.
No growl was heard.
Just two furry friends who had connected instantly.
Watching the scene unfold, I was reminded of how many times we humans react similarly to Roxy.
The moment we feel we are not being appreciated, liked, or acknowledged, we become angry. We lash out. We say unkind words to the person who is making us to feel this way.
We are so busy feeling nursing our hurt pride, that we don’t realize what a huge waste of time it is to expend energy on something so trivial.
If only we took a minute to process the scene before us, we’d realize that the person who is ignoring us does not have the power to render us powerless.
If we took a moment to process our indignation, we’d realize we’re reacting this way because we are letting ego get in the way. We are taking things personally and allowing the actions of others to dictate how we feel. And in the process, we are allowing our insecurities to rise to the surface.
If we recognize that we have no control over how others act or feel, we’d realize that the only one we are responsible for is us.
Had Roxy chosen to ignore and walk past the dog that snubbed her, she wouldn’t have been involved in the gnarly dog chase that ensued; she wouldn’t have pursued someone who simply wasn’t interested.
Likewise, if we recognize that it’s not a given that everyone we meet will like us, we will spare ourselves a lot of angst and frustration.
If we are able to dismiss those who cannot appreciate all we have to offer, we will realize that only we are responsible for allowing others to make us feel bad about ourselves.
In taking back our power, we will discover that our sense of being does not have to be disrupted. Instead, it can remain tranquil, at peace, the way it’s supposed to be. We will realize we don’t have to spin out of control and lose our cool.
And like Roxy, we might discover that sooner or later, someone who is smart enough to truly appreciate us will come along.
It never seizes to amaze me how much we humans can learn simply by observing; by taking in our surroundings and more importantly, the dynamics that take place in them.
Today, after a week of captivity (or at least it feels this way), I finally left the house. I thought it was due time for Roxy, the Significant Other, and I to hit the dog park. I figured that after our long sabbatical, our furry friends and their humans would long have forgotten our “reputation.”
So off we went. Me, wobbling side to side but finally walking a bit, the Significant Other dutifully carrying my crutches should the need arise, and Roxy tugging on her leash, eager for the opportunity to socialize.
Sadly, there weren’t any furry friends in attendance at the dog park. I glanced at the position of the sun and concluded we had a short wait before we were joined by other visitors.
After a short while, an elderly man and his pup were seen on the horizon. Roxy spotted them easily. Eagerly wagging her tail, she awaited their arrival. I quickly reminded her that she was being given an opportunity to redeem herself; tabula rasa and what not.
The man and his dog came closer and closer. I could see Roxy starting to pant. Deciding it was a good idea that she play freely, I naively took her leash off. I briefed the Significant Other on how he should intercept our little Miss the second she showed any sign of returning to her wicked ways.
Roxy avidly greeted her new friend with a wag of her tail. However, he didn’t seem too interested in her comely appearance. Roxy, not one to admit defeat, danced around him enthusiastically. Yet, this wasn’t enough to illicit a response from the other canine.
Roxy did not give up. She barked, wagged her tail even faster, lifted a paw in greeting, and even tried to kiss him. Nada. Zilch. Nix. Our new furry friend seemed oblivious to little Roxy’s charms.
I turned to grab my camera but stopped midway when I heard an ominous growl. In less than 2.1 seconds, the transformation was complete. Roxy, teeth barred and claws at the ready, had metamorphosed into mini Cujo.
The man, in shock at what he was witnessing, tried to pull his dog away. Roxy wouldn’t have it. She circled both of them like a turbulent tornado intent on destroying whatever lay in its path.
The Significant Other, completely taken aback by Roxy’s reaction, stood rooted to the spot even while I screamed at him to take action. By this time, the old man spun around in circles and the small dog flew through the air like a super hero.
Roxy, intent on leaving no prisoners behind, circled voraciously. And then, the worst imaginable thing happened–the little dog got loose. He ran toward the cemetery which lay a hundred yards in front of us. Roxy took off in pursuit and the old man followed.
In the meantime, the Significant Other remained frozen in the same spot. Fortunately, my piercing screams brought him out of his catatonic state and allowed him to join the mad race. Horrified, I saw the other dog crawl under a hole in the fence and head into the cemetery. Cursing, panting, and groaning ensued.
A few minutes later, the Significant Other returned with our wayward friend. Roxy averted my gaze as I reprimanded her but then lifted her snout as if to say, “It wasn’t my fault.” My sharp, “Don’t even go there!” indicated I was not pleased with her actions. Just then, the Significant Other returned from helping the man capture his dog.
“Just a quiet, relaxing afternoon in the dog park, you said. I don’t get paid enough to do this job.”
“You don’t get paid at all.”
“And how would you classify the elevated spurts of blood pressure, tachycardia, and shortness of breath?”
“Marginal benefits to living with two colorful butterflies.”
“Don’t you mean, two lethal black widows?”
Chuckling, we turned to leave. We hadn’t taken but a few steps when we saw another dog and his human approaching. The breath caught in our throats.
“This time, you do the running and I do the screaming,” said the Significant Other.