A strange set of circumstances led to an unfortunate incident at my house last week. My wife was home sick with a nasty virus, I had an early breakfast meeting, and the temperature that morning was a brutal negative 12 degrees.
Usually my wife gets up before me and feeds, then walks, the dog. I knew that would be my responsibility that morning and set the alarm accordingly. Normally I would tend to the dog first thing in the morning because his breakfast time was already somewhat delayed. But because of the breakfast meeting, I elected to shower first. However, right after the shower, nature called. And of course I needed to answer the call right then because of the breakfast meeting. While I was attending to my business, I received a visit from the dog. He did not appear very happy that his breakfast was now considerably late.
I finished up, got dressed and hurried down stairs to start the day. It was then that I was greeted, not by the dog, but by a pile of dog crap on the floor right in front of me. It was right in the walkway, presented where I could not miss it.
I was glad the dog crap was on the tile portion of the floor, where it could be
easily cleaned. That was until I saw a second “gift”
about eight feet away on the carpet.
|Thinks I did a shitty job that morning!|
The dog obviously was not happy with my performance that morning. He had sent me a message, actually two messages, to communicate his utter displeasure with my level of customer service. However, as I stared at the crap before me, I realized there were some deeper messages, some life lessons if you will, expressed here:
Life Lesson #1 – Do not put your trivial needs ahead of the more important needs of others.
If you break this rule, there are consequences. The offended party may decide to crap on the floor. At work, they may figuratively crap on your head. Of course it is wrong for them to do this, and they may get the blame, however you still look bad, and smell bad, with a pile of crap all over your head. Once the crap is let loose, it is too late. Better to make sure other people’s needs are taken care of, than having to deal with the resulting crap.
Life Lesson #2 – Do not yell at others when you contributed to the mess.
I wanted to yell at my dog, but I didn’t. Even though he did the crapping, I created the environment to make it possible. I was largely responsible for the crap, I owned some of it (actually technically I owned all of it). How often do we yell at others when we are the ones that help create the mess? What do angry outbursts accomplish except to make others feel as terrible as we do at the moment? My dog had already had a traumatic morning because his routine had been altered, why should I make it any worse?
Life Lesson #3 – When life gives you crap, instead of complaining, just figure out the best way to deal with it.
Under normal circumstances it would have been a hassle disposing of the crap, however there was 16 inches of snow on my backyard. So I collected all the turds in paper towels and flung them like a monkey at the zoo, far out in the yard. I now realize why the monkeys do this, because it is kind of fun.
Life Lesson #4 – Even when life gives you crap, find something positive in the pile.
As soon as I heaved the crap into the yard, I had an epiphany. The worst part of my morning was going to be walking the dog in frigid, negative 12 degree weather. Because he crapped in the house, I no longer had to do that. I let him out on the deck to whiz and the entire job was completed without me even having to put on a coat! Waking up to dog crap was disturbing, but something positive resulted from it.
Life Lesson #5 – Give others credit for wise decisions, even when then cause you some discomfort.
I realized the dog had the choice to poop in negative 12 degree weather or inside where it was 82 degrees warmer. Maybe the dog is shrewder than I thought. Well played, I mean, well laid doggy, well laid.
And yes, I extracted all off this, from a pile of dog crap …….