Thursday, August 18, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom: Tux 27 - Taking Action

Tux got another fan letter. Let the strutting around the 
house like a peacock begin. For a very cute older dog, he can be insufferable. One of the first things he did, after he stopped bouncing around doing his imitation of a happy dance, was to take Grace’s spot on the couch. Grace is his sister and rival for the position of Alpha Dog in the family. She immediately retaliated by climbing onto my chair with me - a place Tux claims as his own. She asked for pets. Despite not wanting to take sides in this ongoing battle between the two of them, what choice did I have? I gave her the pets she wanted.  She kept glancing over shoulder to ensure that he was watching. He was.
That was too much for Tux. He jumped down from the couch and headed our way. He, too, climbed into my lap. Grace shifted positions to make it harder for him to lie down. He did it anyway. Not only was he uncomfortable, but now so was I. I may have to buy a double recliner if this keeps up, I thought. They both settled in for a nap. While I usually keep a book nearby, on this day there was no book. I couldn’t very well get my laptop out - there wasn’t enough room for me, two Cocker Spaniels, and my laptop. Never did it occur to me to push either or both dogs off. Can we say spoiled Cocker Spaniels?
While I sat pondering what to do next, Grace jumped down and reclaimed her spot on the couch. Tux looked surprised. I continued to watch him and finally, several minutes later, I saw the light dawn. Grace had duped him. She had tricked him into giving up her spot on the couch. He’d been had - again. She has become a master at duping Tux. He’s not the brightest star in the array, but he usually catches on eventually. And he is so very cute and trusting while he ponders what just happened.
Lesson Learned
Watching Tux and Grace, I’ve learned to think about the consequences of my action before I take action. While the initial satisfaction of an action taken in haste may be worth it, more likely than not, the consequence of a rashly taken action taken during the heat of the moment, often turns out badly. Perhaps taking a few minutes to ponder the possible consequences of action might provide some perspective, show us what could go wrong. Who was it who said, “If something can go wrong, it will?” Tux can certainly attest to that - time and time again.

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