We learned a few weeks ago that our dog Watson had glaucoma in her eye, which was causing elevated ocular pressure, resulting in eye bulging and very likely substantial discomfort to her. Hoping to avoid surgery to remove the eye, we tried to treat the condition with medication but with only modest benefit. We came to the conclusion that nucleation was the only practical, humane option left to us.
So, last Thursday she had the surgery and after she experienced a rough evening in suffering the after effects of her day at the vet...including crying, staggering, and loss of appetite as she fought off the effects of the anaethesia, Watson slept for 11 hours. Then, on Friday morning, she was up and moving around, eager for breakfast. She was and continues to be a bit timid about climbing stairs, but otherwise is already back to her regular self, wagging her tail, and looking for someone to give her a good tummy rub or ear scratching. After having gone through a substantial surgery just a couple of days earlier, Watson parades around like she always has, in a great mood, eager for the love of her family and some peanut butter, if it wouldn't be too much trouble.
What has Watson taught me? If I experience a set back, I should shake it off and get on with things with the same good attitude and high spirits as before. Watson, despite her loss of vision in one eye, still has all of the things that she always has to keep her happy, and that continues to sustain her. While I sometimes allow myself to get in a funk from some negative experience on a particular day, Watson carries on with her same good nature and loving attitude because that is who she is. She doesn't sulk, and as best as I can tell, she doesn't engage in negative self-talk.
Obviously dogs aren't people and we shouldn't attribute human thinking to them. Still, I realize that I can tend to allow myself to easily get disturbed by small stuff that really doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things. If someone is late for a meeting or misses a commitment by a few hours, I can get hacked off and allow it to negatively affect my mood. I am learning from Watson that even though those things can be irritating, I can choose whether or not to be irritated by them. And you know what? I should almost always let these things go (provided that they are only occasional).
Watson, you're such a good dog. I'm so grateful to have you as my friend.