All Things in Time

Once a week my friends Doris and Nicole and I meet by phone or in person to do some writing together. One or more of us offers a prompt then we take 20 minutes to write quickly in response to that prompt. This morning was our writing day. Sometimes what I write could be developed into something more, sometimes what I write is a disaster, sometimes I learn something without realizing I needed to learn it. This morning was one of those times. The prompt was:

 

Keeping your shaky hand steady

Here's what I wrote:

 

            I learned this week that our Tasha-girl Siberian Husky would prefer to be fed by hand: spoonful-by-spoonful, morsel-by-morsel, kibble bit-by-kibble bit. Surgery to her front left paw informed me of her preference. Pain meds were hidden deep in the goo of canned dog food twice a day. To make sure she swallowed the pills, I fed her in spoonfuls and she ate voraciously. At first I thought no wonder she’s been so skinny all these year. She’s needed to be fed! After a few days, though, I began to think give me a break. Do I really have to do this? Thankfully my earlier instincts have gained some traction.

            Why not feed her this way? Am I spoiling her? Wrecking her for adult life? Turning her into a princess? For God’s sake, she’s ten years old! Her adult life is more than halfway over. Besides, her adopted brother Wally is a minor bully. I don’t know how he does it, but she won’t eat when he’s around unless I stand between them. It’s not that Wally stalks her or barks or stares longingly at the food he knows is hers. It’s subtle vibrations only the two of them can feel. On some primal level he wants to starve her out, dominate the pack. Be the last one standing.

            It makes me think of my siblings. I’m not aware that I want any of them to die. In fact, quite the opposite. I like my siblings and would like to see them sooner rather than later. But what about when I was little and more or less helpless? Four older sisters all strong and hungry. Did they eat my lunch when my mother was washing up the dishes? Was I hungry too? Have I been recovering ever since? Learning to take my share? Standing up for myself? Striving to be the one who triumphs in the end?

            Of all the possibilities the last is most true. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to prove myself to somebody: I’ll show you I can sing. I’ll show you. I’ll show you I don’t need your help. I’ll show you I can make it on my own. It’s the soundtrack of my life. It’s been going on so long I don’t even know who I’m trying to impress anymore.

            Tasha reminded me that feeding her by hand is ok. It’s kindness. It’s compassion. It’s accepting her fear and helping her stay alive long enough to overcome it. 

 

TashaGirlMaGirl, getting stronger everyday               

 

Walister Pee McWally (aka Wally) in his favorite place. No door so he goes in and out
(mostly in, especially when there's rain or thunder)

7 comments

  • Cack
    Cack
    It would be easier on you if you fed Tasha in a closed door room by herself. Upstairs bathroom? I'm sorry I ate all the food when we were growing up. I was hungry, too. Love, Cack

    It would be easier on you if you fed Tasha in a closed door room by herself. Upstairs bathroom?

    I'm sorry I ate all the food when we were growing up. I was hungry, too.
    Love,
    Cack

  • Lisa Luckett
    Lisa Luckett
    Very nice, Bar! And what a beauty in Tasha! xo107

    Very nice, Bar! And what a beauty in Tasha! xo107

  • Doris
    Doris
    Heaven forbid that any of us (we ladies-in-waiting) would feel like a princess... to feel and act above "our station"! I think females (animals - human and otherwise) are genetically ready to accept secondary status. Given enough time and experience, the female human can overcome this predisposition. I love the notion of hand-feeding - a gift to the feeder and the recipient.

    Heaven forbid that any of us (we ladies-in-waiting) would feel like a princess... to feel and act above "our station"! I think females (animals - human and otherwise) are genetically ready to accept secondary status. Given enough time and experience, the female human can overcome this predisposition.

    I love the notion of hand-feeding - a gift to the feeder and the recipient.

  • Elaine Hall
    Elaine Hall
    I love what you wrote, Bar. The analogy is beautiful. You make magic when you write. Now I know more about you and your sweet TashaGirl.

    I love what you wrote, Bar. The analogy is beautiful. You make magic when you write. Now I know more about you and your sweet TashaGirl.

  • Bar
    Bar
    Hi all you nice people. Thanks for reading and for writing. I'm always glad to hear from you. It keeps me going in a lot of ways. Tasha is much much better today. The surgeon changed her bandage (blue now) and says stitches can come out on Monday. Cancer was level one so her prognosis is good. She's enjoying her pampered time, and I'm enjoying taking care of her. Soon she'll be taking long walks again. Love to you all, Bar

    Hi all you nice people. Thanks for reading and for writing. I'm always glad to hear from you. It keeps me going in a lot of ways.
    Tasha is much much better today. The surgeon changed her bandage (blue now) and says stitches can come out on Monday. Cancer was level one so her prognosis is good. She's enjoying her pampered time, and I'm enjoying taking care of her. Soon she'll be taking long walks again.
    Love to you all,
    Bar

  • Thomas Byrnes
    Thomas Byrnes
    Hi Bar. A very good piece which illuminates a basic truth. Wally doesn't to kill Tasha; he's merely showing that he is the dominant one, the top dog. We human animals have that same primal instinct; to be the first, the best, the most respected, most beloved. Fortunately most of us get over that infantile life view that it's all about us. With all the beautiful strange magic you've woven into your songs you certainly don't need to prove anything to anyone. But you have a gift and it's natural for an artist to want to keep creating and stretch the limits of your gift. As for coddling your girl, by all means continue, if that's what she needs . Other animals show us true unconditional love. We should give back as much a we get. You're fine; much better than fine. Always heed that little inner voice; it's always right. All the best, TB

    Hi Bar. A very good piece which illuminates a basic truth. Wally doesn't to kill Tasha; he's merely showing that he is the dominant one, the top dog. We human animals have that same primal instinct; to be the first, the best, the most respected, most beloved. Fortunately most of us get over that infantile life view that it's all about us. With all the beautiful strange magic you've woven into your songs you certainly don't need to prove anything to anyone. But you have a gift and it's natural for an artist to want to keep creating and stretch the limits of your gift. As for coddling your girl, by all means continue, if that's what she needs . Other animals show us true unconditional love. We should give back as much a we get. You're fine; much better than fine. Always heed that little inner voice; it's always right. All the best, TB

  • Bar
    Bar
    Tom, I sent you a longer email to your email address. Just want to say publicly how grateful I am for all of you who take the time to read my ramblings. It's now August 25 and Tasha is much, much better. No more stitches as of yesterday and no more bandage. Now we wait to see if they got all the cancer or not. The surgeon felt pretty good about the odds but not 100% positive she could get it all. In the meantime, I'm enjoying loving on her a lot more. Both of us are happy and she's trotting along on her walks the way she did a month ago. Nice.

    Tom, I sent you a longer email to your email address. Just want to say publicly how grateful I am for all of you who take the time to read my ramblings.

    It's now August 25 and Tasha is much, much better. No more stitches as of yesterday and no more bandage. Now we wait to see if they got all the cancer or not. The surgeon felt pretty good about the odds but not 100% positive she could get it all. In the meantime, I'm enjoying loving on her a lot more. Both of us are happy and she's trotting along on her walks the way she did a month ago. Nice.

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