Tears and Ripples

4:00 a.m. and Zoey was nestled in. Perfect time for reflection, right?

I was thinking about how careless we so often are, cut off from a consideration of others by the business of our own minds. 

I have done the Specialty Newsletter for a few years now. It is hard to explain the solitary time/effort it takes during a time that should be social. And in Portland I was also S.I.C.K. and Sydney had just died and I had work to do (as in, real work). It just wasn't a good time.

But I plugged away.

On Rally day the newsletter included a particularly fun photo of one of the obedience/rally judges. I mentioned this to him, and said I would bring him a copy of the newsletter.

My desire to share some of the fun part of my hard work on that newsletter was met with resistance from one of the Rally Table Stewards. She literally pushed me. As in, put her arm on me and pushed me away from the table where I was trying to deliver the newsletter.

In her defense, she was tasked with keeping the garrulous judge on track and likely did not want him distracted -- I get that.

But a stranger made unwanted and unnecessary physical contact with me -- I remain surprised at how very upsetting that experience was.

There is something so violating about another person thinking it is okay to make contact with you in order to control your behavior. Regardless of intention, it felt disrespectful and dismissive of my hard work on the newsletter. Further, it made me feel just so helpless as I realized that someone could lay hands on me, and I had to just walk away.

My emotions poured out as tears. I was SO upset.

But this morning, as I petted my beloved Zoey in the wee hours of the morning, what I was thinking about was how we are all connected, you and I.
 
 
You see -- I missed a Rally sign that morning. Zoey had endured the wettest and muddiest draft test ever, passing brace with her stick-chewing daughter. She won the Open B obedience class. But that missed Rally sign cost Zoey the Tri-Athlete award.
 
Would I have missed the sign if I had not just spent a good portion of the morning upset and crying? There is no way to know.
 
What I do know is this -- like a pebble in a pond, our choices have impact, and often that impact is more than we can ever know.
 
I know the Table Steward could not have known how that dismissive push impacted me that day or the fact that it will forever shadow Zoey's last Specialty. But as I lay hugging my beloved Zoey this morning, terrified thinking about the results we will be receiving today from the biopsy done last Friday, I was again reminded of how the threads of our shared tapestry can be so altered with just a word or deed.
 
 
Life with Dogs -- often so heartbreakingly sad but with so many lessons to make us better people. We give meaning to the tears when we accept the invitation to the lesson.

13 comments

by Favorite Auntie... on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 06:47

I don't know if you know how much the pebbles you toss with your blog affect so many, so positively. Do you know how really large the pond you've built is, and how grateful we are that you invited us, friends and strangers alike, to experience it with you? I love you, Mary-Ann, and am so grateful that you are you.

by Lori S. on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 07:12

What Ellen said.(perfectly)

by Judy on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 13:22

Absolutely!!!!!

by Sue on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 16:19

So perfectly put! Mary-Ann thank you for sharing, far reaching ripples! If only one person reacts and thinks deeper about how they interact with others, then your ripples have had a good effect ( or is it affect?)

by Deb S. on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 09:11

Somehow in all the chaos of daily life, I must have missed that something was awry with Zoey. My thoughts are with you as you await news, and I hope that the results turn out to be more favorable than life with Berners allows us to expect.

In less important news, I understand how much real estate can be taken up by upsetting events and how having just 1% more focus can make the difference in a Q or not. I had my own near miss with the triathlete award because of my distraction. Ironically, while I would have LOVED for Mozzie to get the triathlete award, once I got home and reflected, I realized that while I can remember in stark detail the NQs I created, I can't remember every Q that we had. What I do always remember is the joy I felt that I was out there with my favorite Berner working as a team, regardless of the outcome. I have also relayed, with the amusement that time allows, the story of Mozzie's biggest NQ to date (in our try for our third leg/title for our BN, on a lovely recall, deciding to zip past me, pee in the ring, and then leave to play with the girls outside the ring). At the time, I was crestfallen and second guessed everything about my training and handling. In retrospect, I recall how happy Mozzie was. He didn't care about the Q (nor a ribbon, nor a triathlete award). He loves me. And I love him. Everything else that happens is a bonus.

Hugs to you and Zoey.

by Linda T. on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 14:23

The lessons, yes always relevant .... feeling the need to find meaning in some messy situations, and your post resonates, thank you for your words, your tears, your lessons, your heart. LOVE YOU!

by CA Heidi on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 14:49

This statement really struck me:
" . . . how careless we so often are, cut off from a consideration of others by the business of our own minds." I often wonder how often I do this -- carelessly scrape someone's feelings because I simply wasn't considering them in the first place. It's not a comfortable thought process, but I hope it leads to better awareness. However, I completely understand your upset after being man(woman)handled. It is always awful when you get trodden on and you are already tender to begin with. I would have been horrified -- I just can not justify, in any circumstance, physically moving another adult in a non-emergency situation. That's beyond inconsiderate. :-/ Simply put, it is not okay. However, HUGE kudos to you not joining her in that unacceptable behavior. That is super hard for me, and I really admire you for that. I can't promise that I wouldn't have publicly pinned her ears back for her, if that had happened to me. But that rarely helps. :-(

And this? This just hurts my heart. --> "I know the Table Steward could not have known how that dismissive push impacted me that day or the fact that it will forever shadow Zoey's last Specialty. But as I lay hugging my beloved Zoey this morning, terrified thinking about the results we will be receiving today from the biopsy done last Friday, I was again reminded of how the threads of our shared tapestry can be so altered with just a word or deed." A very important reminder to be kind -- for everyone is indeed fighting a hard battle. I will walk especially gently through the world today, thinking of Zoey.

Lots and lots of love to wrap around you just now. <3

XOXO

~H

by Jennifer Z on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 15:25

All of my most positive thoughts for you and Zoey. I came here today to copy the link to your puppy biting article, which I am sharing with someone with a new puppy (more proof of the pond). I saw the title, and had to read this blog entry first. I am so sorry to read the word "biopsy". A word we all dread. Hugs to both of you. xoxo

by Pat T. on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 15:40

oh Mary Ann, you have been through so much in such short time. I can imagine how affronted you were being pushed like that, heartbreaking that was the tip of iceberg that set your tears to flowing. I am so sorry you missed a sign and therefore the chance of a TriAthlete award for Zoey. I pray you get some good news, sorry to hear she is not doing well. We love these dogs, they fill our lives but yet break our hearts.

take care,

Pat T.
Texas

by Kathy L on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 16:40

A very poignant message that we should all take to heart. I did not know Zoey had a biopsy done, and I am thinking of you and hoping for the best.

by Dave Richardson on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 19:15

Mary-ann,
Meeting and talking with you at the Speciality was one of the highlights for Pam and myself. (we are from Victoria, B.C.). We were so sorry to hear about Sydney and are hoping the Zoey's news will be good. Hope you are feeling better now. Wish we could be closer so we could talk more with each other.
Take care.
Your friends from up North,
Pam and Dave Richardson

by Cathy G. on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 00:36

You have a wonderful way with words; to get a mind contemplating. Today's words are extra wonderful. I'm sending pawsitive thoughts and prayers for a good biopsy report.

by keli on Sat, 05/13/2017 - 10:58

gave me tears though

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