Life can be funny without trying to be funny. My Chihuahua, Pip, has been surviving a serious eye problem, which requires drops and oral pain medication several times a day. He’s wearing what my friend calls, ‘the cone of shame,’ a blue headdress tied with a bow, intended to keep him from rubbing his eye. It’s sad to see him in that, but it’s funny too, which made me consider the benefits of humor.Laughter has been my family’s primary coping tool, and I see it as prayer for what feels like a hopeless situation. I laugh when nobody else thinks it’s funny, but oh, well. Since I infrequently cry, my better option is to go for levity and feel stress vaporize. It’s a stress reliever and often makes things better. I could cry watching Pip’s constant left eye blinking, or laugh at how silly he looks in the cone. He doesn’t really know that I’m laughing AT him, he might even think I’m on his side during our gauntlet administering the drop and pill.
Pip does look funny in the cone of shame, like the lady on the Blue Bonnet margarine box, and even though it’s not funny while I have to shove a quarter of a pain pill down his gullet, I have to do it. I notice that his little teeth tighten up while he tries to keep the pill from going down, and he gets a certain expression I can’t explain when I get my hand into his little mouth. The pill usually doesn’t cooperate, so I pick it up, and repeat. Pip’s toothy expression remains, but he’s pretty stoic about the challenge, fortifying his sturdy legs in a stance awaiting the next round.
I’m grateful Pip doesn’t hold grudges or run from me, because this pill/drop regime has been going on for over two weeks, and continues until the veterinarian gives an ‘all clear’ signal. Time will heal those eyeball scratches, and hopefully our treatment will not require that we change his name to Squinty. Laughing helps with patience, too.
I’m trying to stay on the sunny side during Pip’s struggle, but it’s gallows humor. Pip’s a dog, so he lives in the moment, and isn’t tripping on the absurdity of human vs. dog. I know I’m not alone with administering medicine.
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