Home > Burnout, Jean > WHY NOT A LITTLE CHAOS?


I don’t know about you, but in my world, “chaos” is a bad word. It’s something I try really hard to avoid with my spreadsheets, calendars, lists (yes I know I wrote about this in my last post). I even plan our menus for the week so that I don’t have to run to the store at the last minute.

But last week, my husband, who volunteers at a local animal shelter, fell in love. There was something about this puppy that got to him. The next day, we brought Bella, our ten-year-old therapy dog to meet the puppy. She basically ignored him so we thought, “Oh, this will be easy.”

It’s not. Last Thursday Rudy came home. He was so frightened in the car that he threw up and pooped. Once we got him cleaned up, we walked both dogs so that they could meet again on neutral territory. Bella was puzzled but okay. But once Rudy came into the house (and he’s only allowed in the mud room and kitchen until he’s house trained), Bella snarled at him through the gate. She wasn’t any friendlier outside, but now, day six, we see small signs of detente. We had them both loose in the back yard and there was some avoidance, but no snarling. The ice might be melting. Our cat, Henry is stunned but won’t defend himself when Rudy knocks him over. Yes, we’ve got chaos. But it’s strangely okay.

I’m trying to take a kind of Zen approach to it all, to see what happens and to untangle myself from my normal expectations. Okay, not much work gets done. So what if the kitchen floor is dirty? He’s sweet. He likes to fall asleep in my arms. Maybe charm really is stronger than chaos. One day I hope he’ll be a therapy dog like Bella. I hope he’ll be able to comfort people who are hurting. Yesterday, when Bella and I were at our local hospital, we visited a boy in the emergency psych ward. He was only 11 and was in a room by himself. I asked him if Bella could get up on his bed and he nodded. She curled up next to him. He touched her velvety ears and for those few seconds, I thought he looked less alone and unafraid. After several minutes, we said goodbye, and as we walked past the armed guard outside his door, I knew we would make it through the chaos.


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  1. Betty Hirsch
    June 6th, 2017 at 18:55 | #1

    I can see why Rudy stole your husband’s heart. We lost our 7-year old choc lab Maggie 2 months ago. We miss her very much; there is also some relief that we don’t have to worry all the time about being home in time, or leaving her too long, etc. So, time will tell when we are ready for the chaos again. Thanks for sharing. Betty

    • Jean
      June 7th, 2017 at 11:51 | #2

      Oh, so sorry to hear about your dog. Rudy met our vet today and she thinks he may be part Coon Hound! What an adventure. He’s a great puppy, and Bella (our ten-year-old therapy dog) is doing a tiny bit better each day. We can now have them outside together in our yard, off leash. Progress!