Friday, December 10, 2010

BlogBack #3: My Most Heartfelt Post That Was Inspired By My Dog Eating An Ice Cream Cone

I've written a lot of blog posts on here that I was passionate about and I sprinkled an ample piece of my heart into(which reminds me, my monitor really needs cleaning now). Today's BlogBack post is probably the one I put the most emotion into. It just so happened to be inspired by Summit doing a bunch of stuff he wasn't supposed to. The BlogBack spotlight is none other than my sort of a poem post, It's Not Okay.

Last winter, we didn't have a fence up and Summit was less than a year old (and not his full size yet). This meant that Summit was not totally aware of his boundaries, and was under the misunderstanding that all he could see was his backyard. This meant that when it came down to doing his 'business', he thought he had an assortment of great locations to choose. Naturally, he didn't want to mess up the places he was allowed to run and play, and so he tended to favour the plots of land that happened to be our neighbours. Now, we clearly knew that encouraging this was probably step one in creating harsh relations, but also, we really wanted to enforce what was Summit's property. There was one side of neighbours that Summit preferred to do his thing, and would sometimes try to wander halfway on to their property. We always corrected Summit, and tried to get him back on our yard. There was several times that the father of the house would try to wave us off, and let us know it was okay that Summit decorated his lawn. "It's okay, it's okay." But we tried to assure him that it isn't okay. We would tell hie that even if he didn't mind, it bothered us because not only was it rude but we were trying to teach our dog proper behaviour. He usually just brushed us off with another, "It's okay."

Usually, we made sure to take Summit out on a leash, because there was always a chance someone would be walking on the sidewalk, and Summit would believe he needed to greet this people on 'his property' (despite the fact the sidewalk was two homes away). There were a few times at night that either we decided to not leash him, or he snuck out the open door before we were ready. With this freedom, he often chose to run over to the back door of the previously mentioned neighbour. They usually left their garbage outside, which meant lots of delicious treats. They also tended to allow him in the house, despite the fact we constantly asked them not to do that since it only encouraged Summit to want to go over more. Guess what the father told us, that's right, "It's okay."

One evening, Summit was free in the backyard and decided to go visit his neighbour friends. By the time I got out to stop him, he was already in the house. When I got there, I told the father that Summit really can't be in here, because it is reinforcing behaviour I don't want. The father told me that Summit was only a puppy and it's okay. Summit then proceeded to run up and down their hallway, because I am pretty sure he was busting with joy over being able to get away with puppy sin. During this time, the father was licking away at a massive chocolate ice cream cone. Summit came over to him, and did his cute little begging puppy routine ("Woe is me, I am cute and am only fed 2 pounds of food a day"). I assumed the father knew that ice cream wasn't a part of Summit's diet, especially chocolate which is toxic to dogs, but you know what they say about assuming. Summit devoured the entire ice cream along with the cone in about 4 seconds flat. The kids and I both immediately told the father how foolish that was, and how it wasn't good for the dog to eat that (plus it taught Summit begging gets him treats). The father just brushed me off with a, "It's okay." At that point, it was a waste of my time, but I did make it clear that it wasn't okay and Summit can never go in this house again. I left that house not only with my dog but with a boiling temper.

Though that was the point that I was the most frustrated, it did take one more act that really took me over the edge. A few days later, Summit was out on his long leash that allowed him to roam our yard. I suddenly notice there was something just out of reach that Summit was trying to get to. I went outside, and notice it was the scraps of a t-bone steak that had some meat left on it. Considering what side the t-bone was on, and of course the rep those neighbours now had, I came to a rather quick conclusion how it got there. This upset me for two reasons. The first being I don't really appreciate someone throwing garbage on my property even if it is intended for my dog. The second is that a cooked t-bone is incredibly harmful to a dog.

A lot of people assume that dogs like to chew on bones. That is what dogs do in the cartoons, and if you give them a bone, that appears to be what they're doing. Some people must believe they just like the feeling on their teeth or jaws or something. The actual fact is, dogs like to eat bones. Especially my dog who I give raw diet to, which means he often eats entire chicken frames (which is lots of bone). The thing is, dogs don't know that a cooked bone is very different from a raw bone. A cooked bone will break differently, and cause there to be bone shards that can lodge in the dogs throat. Needless to say, I was not impressed with that t-bone steak on my property. I let the neighbour know my disgust, and he gave me his, "It's okay."

In the shower that night, I started formulating a rough version of "It's Not Okay" (there we go again, something about that tub, maybe I should do all my writing in there). It was entirely about Summit and the neighbour, and why all these things were not okay. About halfway in my rant, I started realizing how self centred this was. I reflected about all the First Nations land disputes in our city, and how many people think it is okay the First Nations aren't being compensated for their land. I started to think about numerous other people who have to put up with abuse and wrongs every single day, but most people just brush off their hurt with a, "It's okay." I started forming a rough list of all the groups that have to put up with that condescending "It's okay" rather than actually have real change implemented. The scary part is that some of these groups probably even started to believe that it was okay.

The more I thought about it that night in bed, the more I got really excited about the opportunity to write something like this (it also meant the more I didn't actually sleep). I also knew that I didn't want this to be a rant. I wanted it to be more creative and even a little poetic. I wanted to address these wrongs against particular groups, but I also wanted to do it in a way that triggered emotions and thoughts. I didn't want to outright state the problems or groups, but rather make the reader have to come up with them based off what was written. I thought it was a really great idea, and I also was pretty scared about it.

I have never been all that nervous about just ripping off a rant and throwing it up on the blog. When it comes to creative writing though, I usually want to make sure it is of the highest quality. Plus I find creative writing is something that comes much deeper from the heart, and really is a window into your soul. Yeah, I am being dramatic again, but I really do believe that is what makes that type of writing so beautiful. It is a way to express yourself and also make yourself vulnerable. It also makes me a little more anxious about throwing it up on the blog. You never know how it might turn out or how others might perceive it. It can be a very stress inducing process.

So, I came up with excuses and held off a really long time. This idea was conceived in the winter, but I was able to come up with excuses to ignore it until the fall. Like any good idea, it never leaves you. It actually continually haunts you until you finally release it through the writing process. It was always in the back of my mind, and begging me to let it out for the world to see. I continually hesitated, but was never able to get rid of it.

I believe it was during the whole burning the Quran crisis that it took control of my thoughts and mind again. All this ugliness and insensitivity was coming to the forefront in our society. It was really sickening me. It was also during a time that SunTV was trying to push its far right news station, and the head was going about things in a less than professional manner. There just seemed to be a lot of injustice at that exact moment. I started talking about all this with a good friend, and during this conversation, I could no longer stand it anymore. I finally decided it was time to write, "It's Not Okay." Once I started, it was written in quick fashion. I instantly fell in love with the piece, and decided it was good enough for the world to see. I posted it right after I had finished the piece, and I really felt it was some of my best work.

I know I shouldn't care what others think, but when you post stuff publicly, you can't help but hope to garner some attention and responses. Though, I loved what I wrote and it was very dear to me, I wasn't sure how others would take it. That is why it was really rewarding how many people gave me positive feedback on the piece through several e-mails and a few blog comments. I was glad and proud that the work could connect with so many people, and they understood what I was trying to convey. It has been a few months since I wrote that 'poem', but even now, it is still probably my favourite thing I've written for this blog.

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