A while ago, Tux’s sister, Grace, had surgery. She had a cancerous bone in her left front paw, and the toe had to be amputated. Her surgery went well. When Grace came home, Tux commented that she “smelled funny.” Grace, though, was still woozy from the anesthesia and the pain meds. She didn’t care what he thought.
As Grace convalesced, our routine changed. Grace’s doctor said that she needed to take it easy until the stitches were removed. She wasn’t allowed to go on our morning walks. Since I was already feeling guilty about her having lost a toe and having a huge bandage on her foot, I decided that if Grace couldn’t go out for walks, then Tux and I wouldn’t either.
Tux, of course, didn’t understand the concept of solidarity. It made no sense to him that just because Grace couldn’t go for walks that neither could he. He wasn’t injured in any way so how come he wasn’t going to get to walk in the park every morning? Of course, Grace didn’t look at him with her big Cocker Spaniel eyes asking why she couldn’t go out for walks. No, she turned those eyes on me.
So I now had two Cocker Spaniels looking dolefully at me every morning. It’s almost more than I can handle. Oh, the guilt of it all! What a bad mother I am to deny my four-legged children their heart’s desire. I got over myself by blaming it all on the vet who had said Grace couldn’t go for walks with us until she got her stitches removed.
Tux, of course, still didn’t understand his being denied the highlight of his day just because his sister had been told to stay home. But he dealt with that, too. He told himself it wouldn’t last forever, and that he would benefit from an extra hour’s nap.
Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen to us. The best we can do is think of all the cliches we’ve ever heard about bad things happening to good people. Cliches like “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” I do love fresh-squeezed lemonade, and I've been drinking a lot of it lately.