It was just one of those days when Behr Behr was simply NOT in the mood to have her picture taken!!! Dusty’s mom and I decided to take a little hike with our fur kids recently, and she tried the whole hike long to get a picture of Behr Behr and Dusty together. So after about 50 failed photo attempts, we changed tactics and tried photos of little Behr and me together…again, with much resistance from Behr Behr. You can see from the few sample photos here that I am having to hold Behr’s face and turn it toward the camera in each photo. I didn’t want to totally bore you with ALL the photos, but you get the point from these.

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Usually Behr Behr is a bit of a ham and I can get lots of cute photos of her, but not this day. Finally, when we got back to our cars, Dusty’s mom got this photo of them in the same basic area at least. We were happy with that at this point, even if it wasn’t the greatest.finally-behr-and-dusty.jpg

I was a little frustrated, since it was such a beautiful day and it would have been fun to have some cute photos of our fur friends together out playing on their hike. Wasn’t going to happen. Oh well.

Then on the drive home, poor little Behr Behr threw up in the car, (fortunately on the waterproof seat cover she was on!) and I understood what she had been trying to tell me all day. “Mom, I’m just not in the mood for photos ‘cause I don’t feel good.” Great. Then I felt really bad for trying to make her endure an endless photo shoot that she didn’t want to participate in that day. Actually, I felt terrible.

Reminds me of a story I heard about a guy who got on the subway, desiring a peaceful ride to his destination. Instead, there were two small boys who were totally out of control and crying and yelling, etc. He wondered, “Where are their parents?! He was going to let them know just how it irritated him that the kids were doing this. Finally, he saw a man that appeared to be their dad sitting with his head down, staring at the floor, oblivious to his kids and their behavior. He went over and said, `Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you could control them a little more?’ The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly: `Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.’ “

The kids had no grid for dealing with their pain, and dad was overwhelmed with his own. Suddenly, their behavior didn’t seem so annoying anymore. What changed? Only the understanding that there was a genuine reason for their “out of control” behavior.

With people, I can go back and say, “I’m so sorry. You were trying to let me know something was wrong, and I missed your cues.. Forgive me for putting you thru that.” But how could I ever communicate this to my puppy? Sometimes I tend to miss the small cues or maybe the minor hesitation that people, and my puppy, try to send me to say, “I’m just not comfortable with…” I have had to backtrack too many times to apologize and help to repair any breach that I was forming by missing the cues. That’s especially easy with people who are too shy to speak up about the things they are uncomfortable with/unhappy with, etc. My sweet little puppy had no way to even tell me, other than her hesitation to be a ham for the camera.

I think her little feelings have been healed now, after I gave her lots of attention, cuddling and love. I took her home, tucked her in her bed, covered up and toasty warm. She was stuck with a bland diet for a day or two, and then was back to her usual self. Turns out a new medication she was on was causing her to be sick. She’s no longer on the meds, so she’s her usual happy self…

…And hopefully, I’m a better person for the reminder to pay attention to small clues, in both her and people around me.

Behr Behr’s mom

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