|OUR 12 YEAR OLD LHASA APSO - HOLLY|
Today I took Holly (our Lhaso) to the vet because lately she hasn't been hearing very well. Either that or she was been ignoring us. It has been known to happen.
Like most canines, her physical senses are heightened beyond our own, and even though she is older than either me or the LOC* (at least in dog years) until just recently she was always alert to the soft snick of the door opening, or the subtle "tick" of a bit of food hitting the floor. (Lovable Old Coot*)
However, for the past few weeks we have noticed that instead of waiting eagerly at our bedroom door each morning, she would still be fast asleep in her bed when we came into the living room. "Ah, she's getting old", we said to ourselves.
Then two days ago, the LOC called her in a normal tone (which I'll grant you, for him is just one decibel below a bellow) and she lay still asleep. He called her again, even louder. She snoozed on. Finally he flat out shouted "HOLLY" - and she jumped up and looked wildly around as if to say "What? Whaaat?"
So I took her to get her ears checked, and to see if there was anything that could be done. Turns out there was and it was a fairly simple fix - she had wax plugs in both ears, creating artificial deafness. I understood completely.
Been there, done that. I was in my early thirties and for months I had noticed I was having a more and more difficult time following conversations taking place around me.
When I finally saw a doctor about what I assumed was my premature hearing loss, he simply irrigated both ear canals, and showed me wax plugs the size of pencil erasers. Yuck! Who knew?
As I walked out of the doctor's office that day, I recall being amazed at the crunch of the gravel under my shoes. I had not heard that sound in a long time. I was suddenly aware of birds singing. I did not realize how much I had been missing all around me.
# # # # #
As I drove Holly home, with the window on her side of the Buick down a little so that she could stick her nose up there and smell all the wonderful smells (I could swear she was smiling), I remembered that day I had my ears opened, all those years ago.
How often in my life have I missed the soft undertone of discouragement in someone's voice, because my spiritual ears were plugged? How many times have I overlooked the echos of confusion, or the subtle ripples of loneliness because my hearing was dulled by my own pride or arrogance.
Holly did not mean to ignore us. She simply had stuff building up in her ears.
I do not mean to ignore or misunderstand others either; but I do sometimes discover that I have had "stuff" building up in my ears. Fear, ego, discouragement dull my hearing to the needs of others. Thankfully, the Great Physician still makes house calls.
# # # # #
He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 11:15 NIV)
# # # # #
Let's determine to practice our listening skills more often. And get our "hearing" checked from time to time. Until next time - Marsha