Help feed shelter dogs!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

(Don't) Tell me your tale.....

The word about Watson's illness is slowly making its way around.... I have gotten some of the nicest emails and calls about how he's doing, and I do appreciate the outpouring of love and support from friends and even strangers across cyberspace. Hopefully what I am about to point out next doesn't make me sound like an ungrateful arse as that is not my intention.

Perhaps it is the natural human reaction to use a common experience to connect. For example, when my mom was very sick with metastatic cancer almost 5 years ago, people would regale me with their cancer stories... "oh, my dad died of liver cancer; it was painful and awful" or "my mom died of brain cancer; she didn't even know who we were at the end".

Similarly, I am finding that people are telling about their dead pets ("my Jojo died of diabetes" or "my Brian died of bone cancer"), with an emphasis on the word DIED. It seems like everyone's stories are in the past tense, as if Watson WERE ALREADY DEAD AND I AM GRIEVING. Not so. He may move slow but he is very much alive.

Here's my bit of unsolicited advice: if you hear of someone whose beloved human/beagle/cockatoo/cat/whathaveyou is ill, I ask that you suppress your human urge to share your story about your dead Uncle Bill who didn't die of the same ailment. Instead, share a positive story of someone who LIVED and SURVIVED the ordeal. Like tell me about your 13 year old dog who not only survived lymphoma but lived long enough to win top prize in his agility race and then die of old age.

If after racking your brain, you cannot come up with a positive story, then I suggest that you take the dog's approach to bad news: give me a cookie and tell me to lie down for a while.

No comments: