Years ago I worked with someone who was in graduate school to become a therapist. She was so nice to talk to, because she always understood what you were feeling and cared. She said things like, “Oh, poor dear, I see why you feel that way! That must be so hard.”
Which is why I’m always confused by my reaction when someone comments that Silas is a difficult dog. Don’t we want people to affirm our feelings? I mean, he is a difficult dog. I have a whole blog mostly devoted to how difficult he is. For goodness’ sake, I can’t even feed him without drama. He’s afraid of the park. Not the dog park–the people park. When it’s not crowded. Without fail, though, I always say to those sympathetic people, “Oh, no, he’s really great most of the time.”
I started drafting this post on Friday, which was the unpleasant icing on a fairly miserable week of cake. Difficult, shall we say. I had quite a rant typed in here, about all the terrible things he had done, almost knocking me down the stairs, being afraid of the park, herding my husband. In typical Silas fashion, though, he was an angel all weekend afterwards, taking all the sting out of my rant.
Which is why, I think, I always rush to his defense. He always gives me hope, and he always has hope himself. He is always willing to try again. Every time I open the car door, he happily jumps in, even when he is scared of almost every place we go. For all of the “I can’t do thats” there’s a corollary “but I can do this!” Sometimes it’s hard to find, and sometimes it’s a smaller step than you could imagine, but it’s there. The way forward is never easy, not with this dog, but there is always a way. Difficult, yes, but worthwhile.