Over the years, you have probably noticed from time to time how the attitude of one person in the family unit can affect the overall attitude of the entire family. I don’t necessarily mean attitude or mood either, but that’s the word that comes to mind. When one person in the household isn’t feeling up to par, the whole household reflects that need.
For the past month, I have been that downward drag at my house. I haven’t felt my best for a month now and I’ve seen it reflected in the household.
My roommate has stayed on the alert to help me if needed. That can be rather hard, too, because of my innate independent streak. Yet, when I’ve needed help in the middle of the night, she has been right there. I appreciate that.
Then there is Kelly, my sensitive black lab therapy dog.
Though I continued to do for her the usual things, like giving her medications and providing fresh water and food on a regular schedule, she sensed things were not quite normal and became very “clingy” – the behavior she exhibits when she feels somewhat insecure.
She wants to be with me constantly – not just in the house, but in the house near me. She is not always content to lie on her mattress under the open window, which is a favorite spot day or night. No, she wants more time lying on my feet (literally, ON my feet). That is resolving itself now that I’m more active, but it has been interesting to observe.
In her own way, she has manifested the same watchfulness as my roommate – if she’s needed, she’ll be nearby. So, yesterday was quite a milestone when she and I returned to our volunteer work at a nursing home in Oregon, Ohio.
She happily and easily dropped right back into our routine. At one point, she tugged on her leash, and when I allowed it she went directly to the next room we regularly visit. That resident keeps Milk-Bones for her. Kelly is allowed only three to avoid any more weight gain, but that resident always slips her an extra one and then argues with me how many Kelly actually had! (I suspect this is a game we play, and the resident always wins!)
On the way home, we stopped to get my car serviced. There, she made herself available for petting. One little girl eyed her from the doorway several times before actually venturing into the waiting room, where I asked if she wanted to pet Kelly. A silent nod, a sly smile, and she approached, laid her hand on Kelly’s head and left – well satisfied with her bravery!
Yes, we’ve all been affected by my lower-than–normal activity level, but that is on the upswing now. Hopefully, I can soon mow my own lawn though it has been nice to be able to call on my grandson as needed.
You know, there is a certain assurance in seeing others being so considerate of one’s needs, whether the others are human or animal. Somehow that extra attention seems to build one’s self esteem.
But there is One who remains tighter to us than family or friends in all situations. Once you choose to accept Jesus into your heart, He will never leave you! Yes, He is downright “clingy”!