Red Leigh Cooper

Red Leigh Cooper

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Am the Bulldog

     There is this Kid Rock song called "I Am the Bullgod."  My husband, Eric, and I like to make a habit, if we can, of twisting song lyrics as if we were amateur Weird Al Yankovics.  So, frequently this song comes out as "I Am the Bulldog" complete with a new set of lyrics detailing a day in the life of our furry four-legged friends.

     My favorite breed of dog is the Australian Cattle Dog.  They are loyal, intelligent, focused, independent, and sturdy dogs.  The breed actually, speaking of bulldogs, are a mix of bully breeds, like Bull Terriers, plus Dalmatian and Dingo or Kelpie.

    I am the bulldog...

     This is Dali.  She is actually an Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie mix, but trust me, she got nearly all ACD!  Look at that scary intensity...and sometimes that scary intensity goes horribly, horribly wrong.  A combo of bad socialization and physical abuse before we took Dali into our home leads her to inappropriately focus all of that Cattle Dog intensity...not that she could understand or be held accountable this...she's a dog.  They honestly don't have the greatest of cognitive abilities.  Aside from any innate behavior, they only know what the world around them has shown them.  Dali, until she came to live with us, was undeniably not shown great things by the world.

     It's been my job over the last 12 years of her life to manager her in such a way as to help her make better decisions.  Most times the issues we have with Dali is when she fixates on something that irritates her. The extreme tunnel vision she exhibits is incredible. There is no calling her off it; whatever it is, she is going to worry it to death, one way or another.  She just can't let it go.
     ...A combo of bad socialization and physical abuse...sounds like my personal rearing actually.  Eric makes comments all the time when Dali does something particularly "quirky" how much she is like "her mama."  While I've been known to shoot Eric a dirty look for these type of comments, but unfortunately he's right.

      I've had problems with my back again lately.  I know that my recovery will be a long process in my head, but often times, my heart just doesn't know that.  I don't feel or look as physically weak as I am, so when set-backs arise as an ever-present reminder, I get deeply, deeply disappointed.  A feeling of such great hopelessness becomes created and all I can think about is, "I've done all I can.  Every option has been exhausted.  I can't believe this is how it's going to be..."  I just keep articulating how disappointed I am over and over again. I just can't let it go.  I seem to have the same tunnel vision that my dog gets when something upsets her...until someone "manages" me.

     In this case, the "managing" came in the form of friends present during a "I'm disappointed" lament who were able to remind me of the physical ailments they have overcome that they weren't always sure would be resolved.  The ailments that took trying different things until something clicked.  The ailments to where there is no other option just wasn't an option...

     I try not to be that person at work.  You know the one.  The one that complains about a situation, but voices no idea on how to change it.  They just want to complain.  I'm not sure why that hasn't crossed over more into my private life.  It's not that I am actually complaining alot, but I'm not exactly looking for other avenues either.  Maybe the pain makes it hard for me to see that there could be another way of dealing with the problem...maybe I understand my dog more than I thought I did...

     Dali is getting better with age.  She's not as "angry" anymore, but she still needs managing from time to time.  I guess I am and do, too.  If I'm going to swim out into that ocean and grab the starfish,  I'm going to have learn to go out into open waters where the possibilities are endless.  I may need someone monitoring the oxygen tank, but I am hoping to eventually be a skilled enough diver to navigate.

     I am definitely the bulldog...I am loyal, intelligent, focused, independent, and...sturdy...and I think I'll focus on starting a Pilates work out today...

Happy fishing!


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