spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily

Fox Does Gratitude


PictureThe Fox needed a sign like the one on the walking path near our house. If fleas could read.
Because I have much to be grateful for, I am making a gratitude practice. I will start with fleas. The vet found five on me yesterday at the Los Osos Pet Hospital, which is just up the hill behind the Shell station on Los Osos Valley Road. (LOVR). This is a good thing because my one and only was in denial no matter how much scratching she saw me doing. Because no fleas nibbled on her, she assumed they did not nibble on me. Don’t ask.

I scratched myself raw in several places as night and day I pursued the creatures that had hopped out of high grasses we pushed through on our daily walks. My one and only lost so much sleep getting up in the night to brush me, hoping to stop the annoying sounds of me chewing on me. Finally, out of her desperation and self-interest, (two more causes for gratitude,) she made our appointment at the Pet Hospital.

Speaking of gratitude, my one and only was equally grateful to learn that the cause of our anguish was as simple as fleas. The doctor gave me a shot to treat the discomfort I had inflicted on myself and on my one and only through the sleep deprived nights of our last several months. And I got to eat a yummy nugget that will keep off fleas, ticks and parasites for three months. The vet said fleas are thick in Los Osos and that many dogs relocated from urban areas, like I am, suffer terribly. I don’t remember fleas on the 14th floor of the Grand in Oakland.

When we got home, my one and only took apart my crate and washed the cushions and blankets inside. The vet said fleas lay eggs in crates. When he asked my one and only when she had washed out the crate or its interior padding, she could not remember a recent time. I am grateful for her fast action once she got the message. She never meant to harm me by being inattentive. I am grateful that all the discomfort she has caused me was from ignorance and not ill will.

​In the face of all the neglect of which I have been a victim, I am grateful for my forgiving nature because it is not in my best interest to hold a grudge against my one and only. She loves me even though she doesn’t know as much as she should to be a skillful doggie guardian. I am grateful, too, that she is willing to change her ways. I anticipate a flea-less future. Huzzah! 

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