Prissy was her name, and she taught me more about people than I ever learned from a human. Prissy was a chihuahua my husband just HAD to have. I wasn't really warm and fuzzy about the whole inside dog thing, much less, the inside dog that looks like a rat thing. Anyway, one day Prissy was visiting my father-in-law's chihuahua while we were on a mini vacation and low and behold, got herself pregnant. GREAT! To say that we disliked each other was a major understatement. She already knew she didn't have my favor and with my husband being her favorite possession, I wasn't her fave either. This being her first litter and compounding the situation, I knew with her tiny size, she may have some trouble in the birth. So now I'm nursing this little demon.
All night long, my husband and I took turns checking on her when the birth process finally started. We decided we would get back up around 4:00 a.m. so we set the clock, but it malfunctioned and did not alarm. At five I woke up on my own and ran to check on her. As luck would have it, she had given birth to all four puppies and all were dead, except one. Each dead puppy had what appeared to be a puncture would at the back of the head. I thought she panicked in the birth and bit them, causing them to die. As soon as she saw me, she started the most demonic growling I'd ever heard from her. I knew I wasn't her favorite but this was a bit much. I thought to myself, "You little devil... you've killed your own babies!" As you can imagine, she REALLY lost all my sympathies. She wouldn't let anyone (not even my husband) go near that live puppy, EXCEPT me. What do you know? I gave her the bare minimum treatment to get her back to health, but no sympathy. After all, she had killed her own puppies, and what normal animal does that? Time rocked on and her one live puppy thrived, but Prissy never seemed the same. She would still growl furiously if anyone but me came near that puppy... strange. If I didn't know any better, I thought she was depressed. I later did some research and found that her puppies had a birth defect. She had not killed her babies after all... in fact, she was depressed about their deaths. Boy did I feel like a piece of dirt! After I beat myself up for a couple of hours, I went to Prissy and had a long, human heart to dog heart talk. I know, I know - she's just a dog, right? I just felt that I let her down right when she needed me the most.
You know, sometimes we do that with people we are working with, or our own family, or a neighbor in need. Someone once said, "Hurting people hurt other people." Without looking deeper, we react at the surface when someone lashes out. Maybe it's a homeowner who is about to lose their home. Maybe it is a loss mitigations rep who's up to their eyeballs in short sales and looming foreclosures and we are the tenth person to chew them up and spit them out in a given day about why our closing is being delayed. It has been over ten years since Prissy had her puppies, and there is not on instance that I see another dog that I don't think about her valuable lesson. I think Erma Bombeck once said, "Guilt - It's the Gift that Keeps On Giving." So, let me save you some future guilt. Today, when someone lashes out at you for what you think is no reason, look a little deeper into their situation. Don't rush to judgment. They just might be your Prissy.