Today I am thrilled with my dog. I am so, so happy. Do you want to know why? Because he only destroyed a very nice pair of socks belonging to my oldest daughter.
For those of you who have been reading my letters for a while, you might remember that Skipper Roark is a devout anarchist. He lives life to the fullest and has no interest in joining the brainwashed “good dog tribe” that he hears me talking about every day I visit the clinic. He lives by his own rules… and Skipper hates rules.
Anyway, the socks he ruined were brand new and quite nice. He tore them to shreds while I was running errands with the kids. You might think this would make me angry or upset, but I’m not at all.
The reason I’m thrilled is because my daughter (whose dirty laundry was raided) was absolutely certain that Skipper had eaten at least one pair of underwear while on his rampage. We searched the area and… there was no underwear to be found. She was certain her underwear had been in the hamper… but “there’s none there now.”
I suddenly became absolutely certain that we were headed to surgery. It might involve the emergency clinic that night or our clinic in the morning, but surgery felt imminent. I started questioning whether it was worth trying to find someone who could scope him at 9pm. Guilt (I’m pretty sure I was the last one to close the laundry room door), logistics and medical expenses flooded my mind.
And then… My daughter found the underwear. It was rolled up in other laundry and well-hidden until her final, last ditch effort to set her father’s mind at ease.
Immediately I began praising bad dog Skipper. I hugged him and texted my wife (who is traveling and had no idea any of this was happening): “SKIPPER DIDN’T EAT ANY UNDERWEAR! HE’S A GOOD BOY!”
My wife’s response was nowhere close to as positive as mine. She responded “Well, did he eat something else?!” and was not happy about the socks. To be honest, I think she was even more irritated that I didn’t seem to remotely care about expensive hosiery being trashed.
And that’s the thing about perception. If someone tells you your dog destroyed socks, that would bother you. But if someone tells you your dog is headed to surgery and then says “Oh wait! We’re okay! He just destroyed socks!” you’re probably over the moon.
Hardship in life is often this way. When bad stuff happens, it’s not toxic positivity to try to look at things a different way. It’s just adjusting your perspective to make life a little easier.