Emotional Neglect and the Little Dog

There is no doubt that I struggle through each day, I know it, but I think that outwardly I am improving.  I don’t cry nearly as much, I work hard at trying to be more social, to not run the other way when I see someone I know approaching me.  It’s not easy, but it won’t ever be easy.  That I am still pretty self-absorbed came back to me in a very real way today.  I have two cats and a dog.  I haven’t been the best company for them.  I make sure they are fed and have fresh water and that they get outside for fresh air and bathroom breaks.  That’s about it.  Although pets are supposed to be comforting at times like these, that hasn’t been my experience.  I find that my little dog, when I pet her, seems needier than ever.  The cats couldn’t care less when I come or go, but then again they never have.

Today after work I came home to let the dog out and make sure that there was food and water, and then went to my daughter’s for dinner.  I returned to a rather unhappy little dog.  She made it very obvious that I have been neglecting her.  She had found my pajamas and dragged them into the middle of my closet where she peed on them.  Quite a strong statement from a usually very well behaved dog.   Oh, she was guilty, beyond a doubt – she slunk away and hid under a table.  Yup, I was angry with her for sure.  We definitely had words.  I definitely did laundry.

This episode serves to remind me that I am not the only living thing that had my structure and routine ripped away.  It won’t change anything for me emotionally in the grieving process, but it does make me think about the implications of my actions.  I suspect that the dog’s behaviour is a reflection of my emotional neglect.  I know I need routine and so does she.