Monday, November 03, 2008

Responsibility - Part One

A week ago today Sam, our dog, was attacked by a pit bull. Thus began a week of him hiding under the table most of the time, yipping if we came too close to his head and neck area, and general pain and discomfort for the loyal dog. He couldn't shake his head as dog's like to do, or scratch himself as it just hurt too much. We scratched for him and tried to make him as comfortable as possible.

I'm pleased to announce that yesterday he returned to 100% normal! He was scratching, running, perking up ears and tail. The final evidence that he felt great - he enthusiastically played with his hedgehog toy!

A true relief to have him back!

A week of uneasiness for us as well as sadness to see him suffer so has finally ended.

I wonder if the woman who let her pit bull jump out her car window and proceed to chew on our beloved family dog even thinks about the ramifications of her lack of diligence.

I doubt she knows the physical and emotional trauma Cassie and Caroline went through, how they both went to bed that night with terrible stomach aches - something they rarely suffer. I wonder if she knows the upset they experienced for these several days afterward.

Does she know that Sammy suffered terribly from the attack? Swollen, stiff neck, puncture wounds, broken spirit?

Does she know that Tom and I cut our trip short by two days, rushing home to care for those suffering under our roof?

Would she care if she knew? Would she laugh? Would she shrug?

I don't know and I don't really care.

But it gets me to thinking about the responsibility we each have to consider the effects that our actions - or lack of actions - and our words - or lack of words - have on our fellow sojourners.

Sometimes we manage to soothe a soul or cheer someone. Sometimes we make our friends laugh and relax, or think and ponder. Sometimes we give them a reason to keep trying when life stoops shoulders fatigued from the grind. Sometimes we teach, enlighten, and clarify. Often we are told of the effect and it satisfies to know we helped in some small way.

But what about the times we grouched at a stranger in the supermarket, hollered at a baaaad driver, sniped at a slow checker, or thoughtlessly criticized anyone for no good reason? What about the times we shut out a family member who needed a quality we could have shared but wouldn't just because we were tired or in a funk? What about the kindness we didn't show? What about the time we let the pit bull chew up two little girls' beagle and never stayed around to make sure all three were okay? What about that?

What about that.

Seems there is an innate responsibility we all carry for our words and actions.

Wouldn't life be bettered if we all made the conscious choice to think about where and how the effects of our behavior land?

This week has made an impression on me.

For now, though, I'm relieved to have my healthy daughters and dog back.

7 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Glad that Sam is back to 100% and I hope your girls are, too.

Cherie said...

Thanks, WC. Yes, the girls have been restored to 100% for a few days now. Once they could hug Tom and I they found the relief they needed and the nightmares began to recede. All gone now. They've even walked around the park with us three times and are finding their joy there again.

Whew.

cecily said...

Yay... glad to hear everyone is happy and healthy again! :-)

Joyce said...

I am glad things are back to normal for you and your family. I cannot imagine an incident such as that. I shudder to think of it.

People are very interesting. Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me that I am always considering others feelings. I guess anything can be excessive, but I think I'd rather excess with caring as opposed to self-centeredness.

Cherie said...

Cecily - we are glad, too. Thanks!

Joyce, I don't think there's something wrong with you for being considerate, but very very right. Glad to know you!

Robyn McIntyre said...

Great post. The world is smaller every day and we can't afford to antagonize each other with bad behaviour (which for me includes thoughtlessness).

I'm so glad your family is healing. I don't know what I would do if something similar happened to Buffett the Wonder Dox. But it wouldn't be pleasant, that's for sure.

Cherie said...

Buffett the Wonder Dox is fortunate to have YOU. Thanks, Robyn.