Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Lately I have been thinking about the phrase “Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind”. This is most likely because my dog, Reno has been hit by a car and suffered an injury to his back leg. Now for those of you who don’t know, Reno is my bebbie, as little dogs tend to be for people who don’t have children. And, as little dogs tend to be, he is pitiful.
This is where the cruel to be kind part comes in. He must use the potty and cannot get there under his own steam so I must carry him. This makes him cry, because it is painful. He gets snappish and forces me to muzzle him, which I hate. It is one of the main reasons I don’t take him to be groomed and do it myself instead.
There is little choice for me here, I can leave him lying in a puddle of his own waste, or I can be cruel to him. So, I pick him up and carry him outside because in the long run it is a kindness. But in this moment it is cruel, plain and simple. It scares him and hurts him and you can see in his eyes he does not understand why I am doing this awful thing to him.
I don’t feel guilty about it, but it pains me, because even though I am the one hurting and scaring him he still turns to me for comfort. I am his mommy, or his alpha or whatever it is that he sees me as, I am the one he expects to fix everything and make him feel better.
I am certain my love for this dog is not one tenth of the love a parent has for their child and it leaves me even more relieved that I have no kids. As bad as I feel, how much more pain would there be if Reno were a human baby? And how on earth do parents cope when their children are hurting? When their baby needs to have a shot or surgery and they cry and snap and at the same time want hugs and kisses? Where to mommies and daddys get the strength to dig in and do what needs to be done? To be cruel to be kind?
I don’t know, but I do know I have a deeper respect for people who decide to populate their lives with one of those irksome, complex, funny and fascinating creatures. I couldn’t do it.
Posted by Mimi Gilbreath at Tuesday, September 05, 2006