Lesson 1563- Life lessons I want my kids to know

When I was young, an abused Golden Retriever who lived next door to us began spending most of his time at our house. Our previous dog had died and we missed having a canine friend in our lives. We fed and played with this dog. At some point my mother confronted our neighbor and we took official ownership of Geoff.

Geoff was a gorgeous dog, grateful that he had constant food and a safe place to sleep. We adored him and treated him like the gentle giant he was. Geoff went with us everywhere and always joined in our neighborhood games of dodgeball and kickball. He was our friend.

I eventually went off to college and Geoff, who had gotten older just like us kids did, started to have medical problems. He had some kind of ear/cancer tumor problem that required extensive surgery. The surgery didn’t work, so they did it again.

And again.

At the end of one school year I returned from college. There was Geoff’s food bowl on the floor of the kitchen, but I didn’t see him in the house.

“Where’s Geoff?” I asked mom.

“Oh he must be at the Rung’s,” my mom told me. “He likes to go visit them and spend time there.”

Geoff was a friendly dog and I knew that he liked to roam the neighborhood, the Rungs were an older couple who loved Geoff’s company, so I didn’t think much about it. Besides I was busy myself, I had a summer job and I had friends who needed catching up on. I simply didn’t worry about Geoff, he was one of those dogs who belonged to everyone.

A few days later, I saw that the food was still untouched in the bowl.

“Mom, where’s Geoff?”

“Oh he must still be at the Rungs.”

Maybe it was avoidance, maybe I just didn’t want to know, but I let it go.

The next day, I was concerned at the untouched food.

“Mom, I think something’s wrong with Geoff.”

It was then that my mother told me that they had put Geoff down – the cancer had taken over and he had been in constant pain.  They hadn’t wanted to tell me because they had feared I would try to stop them.

My parents couldn’t bear to tell me that he was gone.

I was so angry. Angry that they didn’t tell me. Angry that I had not been there for Geoff. Angry that my dog was gone and I hadn’t been able to help him.

Angry that my parents knew me so well.

In hind sight (which is always 20/20) I have to say that my parents were right, I would have left college to take care of Geoff. I would have gotten an apartment and moved him in with me. I would have kept him alive, not because it was the right thing to do, but because I wasn’t ready to say good-bye.

My mother knew this. She knew that I sometimes drove life spontaneously.

Which is why she didn’t tell me until after the fact.

It’s a story my kids have heard often and having family dogs of our own, I know that all of my children would drop everything and come home if one of the dogs needed help.

It’s the way I was raised. It’s the way I raised my kids.

You take care of those in your care as much as you can.

But in loving a pet, your responsibility also includes recognizing when it’s time to let go.

Which is something that still hurts to this day.

Lesson Learned – Occasionally it takes someone older with more life experience and who is looking out for you to step in when impossible decisions need to be made. A decision to put down a pet can sometimes be made as much out of love for the pet as it is out of love for you.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1562- Life lessons I want my kids to know

 

When I was a child I constantly had two very distinct dreams.

One was about being able to breath under water.

The other was about a majestic flying white horse that always looked out for me.

I had those dreams so often that I came to recognize them as comforting thoughts. We had a pool in our yard and I just knew that nothing could happen to me in the pool, I’d be safe in the water. (It’s probably why I made sure that all my kids knew how to swim and were members of a swim team – water is your friend, you just need to know how to respect it.)

I didn’t learn until I was older that a flying white horse had already occurred in mythology as Pegasus. Either I was tapping into eternal symbology or I was using someone else’s ideas. In any event, my flying horse regularly took me to fantastic places in my dreams. It was my protector, it kept me safe.

Both dreams were so realistic that upon awakening, I would swear that I could breath underwater or that I could fly on the back of my horse. Continue reading

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Lesson 1561- Life lessons I want my kids to know

When I was young (like elementary school young) for whatever reason, one night I decided to make a pronouncement at the family dinner table.

“I have decided on the name I’m going to call my first baby.” I announced.  I had put much thought into this and was very proud of my decision.

My statement obviously got everyone’s attention. Forks stopped midway to mouths and everyone looked my way.

“Okay,” my mother said, treading gently “what’s the name?”

We had been studying American Indians in class and I was obviously impressed with what I was learning.

“I am going to call my first baby Little White Flower.” Continue reading

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Lesson 1560- Life lessons I want my kids to know

 

One spring break when I was home from college, like most other students I was absolutely exhausted. But I couldn’t “come down” from the frantic-induced anxiety of my stressful courses. The first night home I slept a total of 4 hours.

The next day, my body finally recognized that I was home. I ate good food. I didn’t have to worry about classwork. I began to relax.

That night I slept for 12 hours straight and didn’t wake up until 10:00 a.m.

After I woke and came downstairs my father cornered me in the kitchen. He was angry that I had slept so much. I was lazy, he told me. I was a sloth. He became more and more agitated as he pointed out that I had wasted my day sleeping.

“Yeah but,” I countered. “4 plus 12 equals 16 divided by 2 is 8.” Continue reading

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Lesson 1559- Life lessons I want my kids to know

Many years ago, I had a boyfriend who, although nice, I wasn’t sure we were clicking. I second-guessed myself by thinking I just needed to give the relationship more time and things would eventually work themselves out. Right?

One day I was in the bathroom putting on some makeup. One of my cats pushed open the door a crack and entered. She leaned up against my leg and started meowing a friendly greeting to me. Continue reading

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Lesson 1558- Life lessons I want my kids to know

When I was in college at the University of Connecticut, I couldn’t believe how many different classes were available. To be a full-time student you had to have at least 12 credits. I routinely took 19 to 21 credits, while working a job in the library, belonging to a frat (it was a co-ed service organization), and writing for the daily newspaper.

I took so many classes and did so many things because there was simply so much to learn.

Although it had nothing to do with my major (Pharmacy at the time) I took an Education class intended for future teachers. I learned how to create a learning plan, how to organize a classroom, and I was also exposed to my very first lesson on the effects of social inequality. Continue reading

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Lesson 1757- Absolutely no words

 

 

This little one brought me to tears. What have we, as a society, done?

Demand change.

 

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family