Thursday, June 9, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom 17: Sweet Compassion

Tux is the kind of guy who’s tough when he’s protecting his family, and a softie when no one is looking.
When my nephew comes to visit, Tux gets all squishy around him. He loves Zack. He’ll follow him around the house and even goes outside with him when Zack goes out on the deck to smoke. Zack loves Tux. Instead of going out front, he goes out back with Tux,
I recently had cancer surgery on my nose. When I came home, I had a humongous bandage on my nose. Tux and his sister were very glad to see me. One of the first things Tux did after I settled down in my favorite chair was to crawl up into my lap and lean toward me. I didn’t move, curious as to what he was up to. He very gently touched his nose to my bandaged one. His gentleness was so very touching and brought tears to my eyes.
I wasn’t surprised by his gentleness and caring. He senses when I don’t feel well. He’ll stay by my side if a cold lays me low, for instance. This, though, tugged at my heart strings because everyone I’d seen since leaving the surgeon’s office merely stared at me. And this remained the case for the next two weeks while I still had the bandage on my nose. Few people asked what had happened, most simply stared. I didn’t think the people asking were rude, and I usually said something like, “You should see the other guy.” They weren’t being rude, they were satisfying their curiosity. The people who were being rude were the people who stared.
Tux is not unique in being able to sense when his human does’t feel well. He’s like many other animals in that regard. He does, however, have a special way of making me feel better because he so obviously loves me. 
Lesson Learned
It’s really too bad that humans have lost the ability to care about others. I’ve been around people who think any kind of illness is a weakness and compassion for the weak has no place in their lives. I can’t help but hope that as they grow older and they become more susceptible to illnesses themselves they’ll find their compassion where they buried it long ago when they let their pride hide their compassion beneath a boulder. Surely, if Tux can do it so easily, so should a human be able to do.

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