Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My dog psychiatrist: Dr. Walter knows bi-polar

This dog knows more about bi-polar than most people in the medical profession: because he lives with one.

He has had a difficult puppyhood learning to live with me.

But within a matter of months I recognize his "bi-polar" sense has developed.

With little in the way of medical school or training, he has amazingly ascertained what it means to live with a bi-polar human and how to survive.

This clever chap has a way of knowing what states of mind he may be dealing with by waking me up in the morning and staring at and reading my face.

If I smile, it's all good. A can of food soon follows. Then a round of "good dog."

If I roll over and ignore him, it means that I need my own space and he goes to the living room and busies himself chewing up everything I own. (I didn't say he doesn't have his own feelings)

If I stare back for a long time and roll my eyes, he's likely to be waiting a while before he empties his full, night time bladder. That usually means the day will get started slowly.

If he detects a grimace it means I may be in physical or emotional pain leading us into a whiny, self-centered, complaining day. Which means his needs will not be met and his problems are secondary. He spends most of those days barking at the neighbors trying to tell his own tale of despair.

If I scowl at him and roll over and go back to sleep, he knows to just give it up. There's going to be no dealing with me. This dog knows a bitch when he sees one.

He uses other methods and other senses to detect and gain further information.

The sniff test. Just how many days since I have showered shows the level of depression.

A couple sniffs, means he can still detect the scent of the after shower lotion and I'm going to remain alive to feed him.

A sniff and a snort, means were getting close to having some serious inertia problems, not much activity going on.

But if he sneezes it means we may need immediate help. He then has trained himself to dial suicide hotline...

That's my dog, psychiatrist..."good boy."

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