We took Lady to the beach a few weeks ago. Her first time.
She panted and paced. And paced and paced.
She didn’t like the waves.
Her breathing was quick and shallow.
Lady is a 6-year-old German Shepherd my brother adopted from a tow yard. My grandparents’ tow yard. Up until a few years ago, my mom’s parents ran a towing company in Akron, Ohio. Now, due to ailing health and their children’s disinterest in taking over the business, they are having to rethink their plans of running the family legacy for forever.
That means rethinking Lady, too.
My grandfather rescued Lady from the pound as a puppy. Since then, she’s been the “guard dog” at yard. Some guard dog. Lady is the sweetest, most docile German Shepherd you’ve ever seen. Upon meeting a stranger, she whines and lowers her head, nuzzles and asks to be pet. When the yard was being shut down, Lady needed a home.
My brother and his girlfriend wanted a dog.
The pet movers were contacted, the arrangements made, and “voila,” my brother and his girlfriend had a pet. But it was different adopting a 6-year-old dog than adopting a puppy, they discovered. Lady was restless and uncomfortable indoors. She preferred sleeping on the grass to the bed they’d bought her. And she just wouldn’t calm down. Even outside, she whined all night long.
It’s been a few months now, and, gradually, Lady is getting more comfortable. But the episode at the beach reminded me of how difficult, in some instances, change can be. Even in situations where the change is for the better, it often takes a while to adjust. This is also true for changing ourselves—our habits, thought patterns, and attitudes. While other people’s dogs were yapping happily, chasing balls into the waves or snoozing contentedly on the sand, Lady was pacing and pacing. And panting and panting.
She really was happy. It was just . . .
If dogs have a hard time with change, how much more do we?