Rizzo the dog and time

Sometimes John and I will listen to a book on CD. We just finished one about a police officer who, after being hurt badly, was assigned to his police department’s canine unit to partner with a working dog. There he met a dog who some thought was “damaged goods” after a war-related injury. The man and dog formed a great team and solved a major crime. Ok, the plot was far fetched but fun. I particularly liked the chapters written from the dog’s perspective.

But, I am not much of an animal person and I usually don’t have much fun while around other people’s pets. They make me more than a little nervous. When meeting someone’s pet for the first time and the animal is as unsure of me as I am of them, I hate the phrase “oh don’t worry about them – they won’t hurt you.” Really??? Can you guarantee that?? In those situations, John provides a protective barrier for me that makes me feel so safe.

But, an exception to my worry around animals is Rizzo. (There are several other pets who are ok too.) Rizzo is an older chocolate lab who is part of my sister’s family. She is a doll and seems to understand that I need a slower than most re-introduction to her. While we were staying in their home this fall there was a fascinating discussion about daylight saving’s time and Rizzo.

The conversation was about preparing for the day in the fall when we “fall back” an hour. One family member thought that Rizzo would be fine with the change; the other family member wanted to set a schedule of gradual time changes (perhaps 5 minutes a day) until they had achieved the full 60 minute change.

It isn’t that Rizzo is interested in time; she doesn’t even notice if a clock is digital or analog!!

Nope, the time change had a simple but profound impact on Rizzo – her dinner time was to be an hour later than what she was used to. Rizzo isn’t interested in the why or how the change happens every years, she has a single concern – her dinner was late.

Too many times I have been too focused on explaining the why’s and how’s of life when folks just wondered when their dinner or phone call or present or visit would happen. We, like Rizzo, are creatures of habit. Our hunger concerns us, not the history of food.

You might see a Rizzo-like event happen in your own life this week.

– The present doesn’t arrive on time. Rather than asking the questions of why and how, just ask when you can expect it. Simplifying the issue will make it easier for everyone.

– Someone will ask why someone else isn’t married or dating or whatever. Your reply could be something like “yep, that hasn’t happened, but, so much more has happened this year.”

– Two days ago was the first anniversary of the death of a good friend of ours. The only thing you need to say is “I’m sorry.” That phrase is perfectly perfect.

Like Rizzo, sometimes we just someone to fix our late dinner. Sometimes, we don’t want or need (or deserve) the backstory. Just a thought.


Jill (just one of God’s kids)