Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Look (Don't judge Till You Have Lived a Day With Us)

AP here:
Tonka is officially classified as disabled. He has medically held that title since he was born. Funny thing is very few people would have called him that up until now. His blindness isn't something you can tell immediately. When someone meets him first and then I tell them he is blind most ask a few questions and then forget all about it . That has all changed now that he can no longer walk on his own. A blind dog is one thing but a dog in a set of wheels is now something visible and tangible - a disabled dog!
To me Tonka is just Tonka and to "most" everyone that knows him he is also just Tonka. It's that small percentage that don't know him really well or that just meet him for the first time that have started to give us "the look".

The look - a mixture of pity and pain quickly followed by disapproval and a hint of accusation.

I am not a fan of the look and will either end up biting my tongue completely off or unleashing  a tirade of a years worth of anger and frustration on one of these people. Neither one is a good thing but the only solution is to avoid people and although I am good at being a hermit my Tonka is not. Nothing brings the boy more joy then to be among other living things especially people. That is the irony - Tonka loves everyone, he does not judge, he does not assume, he has never growled, snapped or even turned his head in anger or his nose up in disapproval of someone. So if my boy does not judge you why should you judge him or me for that matter.

The conversation no matter how brief always seems to contain the words "quality of life" or "that's a shame". Yes it is a shame its a cruel and horrible injustice but life is not fair and things happen and you can either deal with the hand your dealt or give up. Tonka is not a quitter and neither am I although some peoples attitudes make me want to quit the human race. As far as quality of life goes Tonka is 100% fine except his brain and his back legs do not communicate well. He enjoys all the things his doggy counterparts do and the wheels allow him to get back out on his own power to hang with his peeps. So before you start judging his "quality of life" maybe you should come stay with us for a few days and see if he is not in a happier place than you are.


8 comments:

Gina said...

I never understood why "those" people feel the need to tell you what needs to be done... bugger off will ya... you (who have never walked a mile in their shoes) will never know...

so save your negative energy for your self.. DO NOT BRING IT to TONKA and Alice land... not necessary.

xoxox
ollie and gina

Kim said...

Amen AP, and you keep on "trucking" Tonka! You inspire me everyday with your cool attitude and desire to hang with your peeps! Enjoy those wheels and don't get a speeding ticket!

Acd Pack said...

Hi AP and Tonka! I totally agree that people are too quick to judge and have no idea the joy that is to be found in life. As "The Mom" to three blind dogs (two with microphthalmia and one with retinal detachment)I know somewhat where you are coming from. My "special" dogs and I don't need pity, we don't need to be told how to live/or not live our lives either! I refused to keep my girl home after enucleation surgery, once she was feeling well enough, stitches and all , out we went. Don't like it - don't look! Be assured AP, there are some wonderful people out there and from my pack to you and Tonka, just keeping doing what you know is the best! Tonka is a very lucky dog to have you.

Ray the Blind Dog said...

Ray has been on the receiving end of a few of those comments. So far, people have been smart enough to say things behind my back to someone I know that passes it along. I LIVE for the day when someone says something to my face...

liparifam said...

We had a VERY elderly cat who had gotten very thin, and someone said perhaps we should just put her down. I said, "well, she still eats, and she still manages to go outside on her own and lie in the sunshine, so she hasn't given up; who am I to tell her it's time for her to die? She'll let me know when it is" - and she did...

Tina said...

I agree with Ms. Lipari - only you and Tonka know what's right for him.

I think that people of a certain age are uncomfortable feeling pity and pain, while kids are much more gracious about it. I don't know anyone who squeezes more joy out of this messy and imperfect life than you and Tonka. Don't let others inability to deal with their feelings ruin your day :)

Hugs,
Tina and Liam

Tonka said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Tonka and I can typically shrug off the insanity that some humans can bring our way but some days it is a little harder to do. Its friends like all of you that help us to ignore the crazies, busy-bodies and those with good intentions but no real understanding of our situation. Tonka continues to thrive and be happy in his new wheels and that is all that matters.
Alice and Tonka

Chris said...

I think the look on his face says it all, he is a happy boy !