Diagnosis: Kick the Dog Syndrome

Diagnosis: Kick the Dog Syndrome January 24, 2017

When we were first married, Shaun used to refer to a certain human coping mechanism as “kick the dog syndrome.”  The symptoms are as follows:

-refusal to talk with the person in which the anger is directed
-internalizing said anger
-eventually expressing said anger by kicking man’s best friend

It’s a disgusting emotional and spiritual health issue worthy of some kind of punishment. A good needle pricking under the fingernails or something like that. Or maybe a four hour session under a strobe light to induce a string of seizures. Perhaps that would re-wire an angry brain.

Seriously though. Kick the Dog Syndrome is no bueno. But I’m finding out this week that it’s not always a punishable crime. In fact, sometimes it’s not a crime at all — just an accident.

I don’t know what’s going on with me physically. We’re trying to find out, and by we, I mean them. The professionals. But for some reason, I’ve accidentally kicked our dog three times in one week. Tonight’s doggie mishap nearly emotionally unraveled me like a kitten’s roughed-up ball of yarn. I felt so crummy. 

We have this rug in our short hall that leads to our bedrooms and bathroom, right? The rug is neutral colors: black, brown, cream. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the same color as our dog. So I don’t know if I’m not seeing her, or if I am seeing her, but am so clumsy I end up either tripping over her and nearly killing myself in the process, or nearly kicking her into next Saturday. Before tonight’s mishap, I’ve either managed to not kick her or “merely” nick one of her limbs. Or step on her tail. But just before I came in the office to write, I got her a good one right on the schnoz. 

She yelped, backed away, and looked at me like the severely abused thing she was. I petted and profusely apologized and examined for damage. Truthfully, I think I’ve been forgiven. But also truthfully … let’s burn that dang rug. Pronto. Before I get a concussion or a twisted ankle, and before little Annie loses whatever teeth and trust she has remaining. She’s already starting to scramble the other direction anytime I start walking toward her. Or if she’s lazying around on the floor beside me, and I get up from my writing chair, she skitters away frantically, as if to say Jesus, help me, here she comes again!! 

I’m honestly not angry, even though Annie did poop on the floor yesterday. I’m just a klutz, and a klutz with vertigo to boot. So who knows. Maybe the rug is not to blame and if I could get off this not-so-merry merry-go-round of health issues, I could stop tripping not only over the dog, but over anything my droopy foot deems too difficult to clear. Like tiles that are 1/8 of an inch different in height.

*eye rolling

Hello, brain? Could you tell my foot to do it’s job?

Thanks for listening to my pathetic story. I don’t need your pity, but I think Annie might. So feel free to leave notes riddled with understanding, compassion, and offers to come rescue her if times get worse. I will read them aloud to her. I may even film the readings, and post a vlog so you can see her reactions to your Christian kindness. It’ll be like Jimmy Fallon’s thank you note gigs, only not near as funny and entertaining.

Excuse me now, while I pick up a book, head out to the hall, and back to the living room. God willing, the dog and I both will survive the trek.


But first, guess what? I stepped away from this blog for a few days, finished editing it, and was just about to hit “publish” when I discovered that Queen Annie pooped on the floor again.

Does God have a sense of humor, or what?

Sanctify me, Lord …

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