“Aw, she’s so cute! What’s her name? What kind of dog is she?” The woman stooped down to the ground to take a closer look at Clarence, my 12-week old Shetland Sheepdog – who is a boy.
I patiently answered her questions, knowing she wasn’t really paying attention. After all, she was totally distracted by my adorable little pup.
The man who accompanied her – undoubtedly her partner – was chattier. He looked at me, almost condescendingly, and said something about how this must be my first dog.
Nonplussed, I said, “Actually, this is my family’s third Sheltie. The last time we had a puppy like Clarence here, I was practically a baby myself.”
“Well, you know, I noticed that you’re buying puppy pads. You really shouldn’t do that if you want to get your dog housebroken, it’ll only encourage it to go indoors.” If I thought he was bordering on condescending before, he was definitely laying it on thick now.
I hastily responded by telling him how the puppy chow that Clarence is eating is salty, and the high salt intake results in frequent puppy puddles in the kitchen. It’s virtually impossible to ensure that Clarence is outside every single time that he has to pee, so the puppy pads have been a huge help. I trailed off, wondering why I had felt the need to provide this stranger with an explanation that wouldn’t matter to him.
The man shrugged, clearly unimpressed by this answer, and walked away.
Upon reflection, this mildly irritating encounter turned into a bit of a metaphor for what life with diabetes is like. People you don’t know bombard you with questions about it. You answer as best as you can, hoping that your replies help these inquisitive folks understand diabetes better than they did before. But this ray of hope is quickly dimmed when the questioners run out of things to ask and begin to tell you how you should manage your diabetes. It’s baffling when it happens because you didn’t ask for advice, but you somehow get an earful of it every damn time.
So I guess in this way, diabetes is a little like raising a puppy. There will be highs and lows, good days and bad days. And unsolicited advice will be dished to you by strangers, even though nobody knows your diabetes – or your dog – the way that you do.
2 thoughts on “How Raising a Puppy is Like Dealing with Diabetes”
Amen Molly. Have been in similar situations myself. I have started to become amused by these people. My blog last week was about this, kind of issue. My own cousin sent me a “how to cure diabetes” video clip. I laughed but still tasked myself on setting him and others straight on these “cures”. I had a more dour outlook on cures than most might like to hear but I am just as entitled to my opinion just as anyone else is to theirs. Just look at our current political mess. You are either democrat or GOP, not Americans. No two people live the same life so they have different fixes and opinions. Just because an opinion is different does not make it right or wrong. It is hard to keep that in mind at times but be it diabetic treatments or the best way to clean pet stains from carpets, everyone has an opinion and they don’t always mesh together.
[…] Just about three years ago, I was helping my parents raise their puppy, Clarence. And naturally, with me being who I am, I found that raising him was a lot like dealing with diabetes – and wrote about it in this blog post. […]