Ticked-off Toto



My dog has an attitude. It recently surfaced and caught me by surprise. He was not happy at all and showed it. What he didn’t realize (maybe because he’s not human) was that my decision was for his own good. He needed it even though he didn’t like it. I’m talking about our recent trip to the groomer.

What’s wrong with my dog? Spa days are fun! But he didn’t appreciate it one bit, and this became immediately obvious when I returned to Petco, looking through the glass door and spotting fluffed-up Toto waiting in a cage. I waved and smiled expecting excitement and possibly ecstatic jumping like he does for his favorite treat. But instead he sat there unmoved without even acknowledging me. I thought, “Maybe the glass is shaded on the opposite side preventing him from seeing me?” This was the most logical explanation. That is, until and we were actually reunited. No wagging tail, enthusiastic barking, or signs of affection. Nothing from my loving Toto. Then when I picked him up and pulled him close for a kiss, he swiftly turned his head away in rejection. What??? That was a first. There was no appreciation for the time I spent dropping him off nor picking him up let alone the $44 I paid so he could see again -- literally. The thanks I received was complete rejection. My tiny Toto was ticked off and ignored me for the better part of the afternoon.

Whether it’s a beloved pet, parent, or child sometimes we have to do the harder thing --what’s needed not wanted, especially when safety and health issues are at risk. Of course Toto would have survived without his nails filed or hair trimmed, but there are other scenarios that could lead to harm where I need to step in. Toto loves to chase cars, eat things in the yard that are not intended for consumption, and pick fights with big dogs (including a 165 lb. mastiff down the street). On his own, even with his new haircut, he can’t see the dangers right in front of him. He needs me.

Like Toto, we all have blinders and often can’t see what’s best for us. We need loved ones around us -- to guide us, pray for us, and always love us. Love is a verb and, at times, requires action even if the results are not what we expect nor deserve.

We protect what we cherish -- it’s an act of love. Although Toto didn’t see it that way, at least he now can see!


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