Our dog, Zeus, is a 13 year old pug. We treat him like he is human and as if he is the sibling to our daughter. We clean his ears, moisturize his nose, take him to his spa day once a month, buy him his prescription food, the list goes on and on. Zeus has about 8 teeth, I think. I am not sure how many teeth Zeus has because many were removed before he came to live with us. This summer he went in for a dental cleaning. The Dr. informed us he would have to remove a tooth. His teeth are very important simply because there are so few of them. So, when the Dr. checked his teeth, he said that it looked like some tartar was building up. “Are you still brushing his teeth,” he asked? I lied and said yes!
Why would a grown person who takes amazing care of her pet lie about something that?
1. It’s such a silly thing to lie about.
2. He knows I am lying!
My fear was that he would lecture me on how important it was to brush his teeth and think I didn’t love my dog. He might have lectured me, but he knows us well enough now that he would never think the latter.
What I came to realize after hours of dwelling on it was that I was afraid to admit I wasn’t perfect. Now, please believe me, I know I am not perfect. I know the Dr. doesn’t think I am perfect, nor does anyone around me. I perceive not brushing his teeth as a failure on my part.
The dog is our responsibility. Zeus requires so much time, energy and a long list of requirements every day. Some tasks don’t get done everyday. We have an 18 month old and many other things going on and his teeth have been ignored more than I would like to admit.
I lied, to avoid being judged. That really bothers me. Then I was sad because now he probably judges me for lying. Or, maybe I judge myself. Anxiety and fear are a result of fear of judgement.
Too much in fact, it’s time to let go.
This year is a great time to let go of worrying about what others think of me. It’s a good year to focus on what I do rather than what I don’t do. Most of all it’s a good year to go back to the lessons I am writing about, that I learned from my childhood. There is always a solution. If I had been honest the Dr. could have given me strategies or tips to make the teeth a priority. It’s never too late to start brushing his teeth. It’s never too late to admit I can’t do everything and ask for help.
Finally, it’s a good year to remember to be myself. Even if the truth hurts, at least it’s honest.