Where I live, it is a beautiful snowy landscape from my office window! Welcome to Nate 90!
Today, I am going to talk about the licking poodle, and I am going to attempt to make an application to our relationships with other people. Sound strange? Stick with me!
Last year during the pandemic, like many other people, we got a pet. We got a little chocolate-brown colored poodle, and we named him Java. A month ago, it came time to get Java fixed. Since he is a smaller dog (he is a Toy Poodle), the vet suggested that we put a onesie on him to protect the incision.
The next two weeks were absolutely miserable. Instead "fixing" the dog, we wondered if we had broke the dog.
Java wouldn't walk on four legs. He would walk on his front two legs and drag his bottom. He stopped going to the bathroom, and worst of all, he constantly was trying to lick himself - even though he had a onesie on.
After a week, we had a conversation with the vet. She said that poodles have an extra licking gene, and that male dogs (Java is a male), were extra dramatic when they get fixed. She suggested we try a cone of shame instead of the onesie. That helped a little, but Java found ways to get around his cone and still lick some. We are glad that Java is now back to normal, and this will now fade into our memories as a miserable time.
Now...here is where you can roll your eyes. I'm going to apply this to people.
There are conversation topics and ways of treating one another that can seem irresistible to us. They seem fun or satisfying to us, and we can't leave them alone. While it feels good in the moment to say these things or to do these things, they actually make us worse off. The threat for Java was that he would tear up his incision. The threat for people is that they can hurt themselves emotionally and spiritually.
Let me give some examples.
A person goes through a nasty divorce, and spends all their time talking about how bad their former spouse is. It consumes them, and they become a bitter person. They've become a licking poodle, and their wound is now getting worse.
There is a family member that you don't particularly like or that you are jealous of. You take every opportunity to tear down this other person. You criticize them behind their back and constantly expound on the error of their ways. You've become a licking poodle, and you are hurting yourself.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. Although you get it, the next challenge is to be honest with yourself. We always seek to justify ourselves which is actually a form a licking poodle as well. It feels good to justify ourselves, but then we miss the error of our ways and we become worse and not better.
I know there are some areas of my life where I tend to be a licking poodle. And, I admit that being a licking poodle in those areas has hurt me instead of helped.
The thing about dogs is that they need a caring owner to help them through their desire to lick to the point of their own hurt. They need a caring owner to put that cone on them and keep them from licking.
Humans have a greater ability to take care of themselves than a dog does, but humans also can have a caring friend help them. I suggest that you decide to put a cone on in the areas where you tend to be a licking poodle. Put boundaries in place and give that part of your life time to heal. And, enlist some caring friends to help you do it.