I have a new dog (puppy really, she’s about a year) and she’s great.
Anyway there are a lot of dogs in my building and it’s been great talking with my neighbors as we all head out on our morning and evening walks. I never realized how great a connector dogs can be. I’ve talked to more people in the last 2 weeks than I probably did in the last 6 months. But they haven’t all been good conversations.
Yesterday evening while heading out for my night time walk, I held the door to the entrance of my building for an older woman who is a resident (I had never seen her before though). While stretching to hold the door for her and control the dog, Izzy (the dog) decided to relieve herself in my building lobby instead of outside. The woman saw this and seemed to be ok with it, sort of looking disgusted but laughing. I apologized and told her I would clean it up. No big deal.
Today around the same time I took Izzy for her evening walk. Again on my way out the front door one of my older building residents, who is in a wheelchair, was at the door. I again stretched to hold the door open for him, and again Izzy relieved herself at the door, although this time outside on the sidewalk directly in front of my building. As I stood there and talked a minute with my neighbor in the wheelchair, the older woman from last night came home. While opening the door she talked very loudly to herself (indirectly aimed at me)…”this is ridiculous, he can’t even control his dog…first inside yesterday and now he lets her pee on the door today. Just ridiculous. Give me a break!” I tried to explain but she was in the door, and I was pissed. And embarrassed.
How come this bothered me so much? It was an accident. I’m as considerate as any other resident in this building. I’m clean, I’ll even clean trash in the lobby that is not mine. I don’t steal papers, I’m courteous, and I have very good dog manners. I didn’t intentionally let this dog pee near the door. It was an accident of circumstance. Why did this seem to bother me so much?
If you are someone who cares a lot what others think, this city will be tough for you. There are so many people with so many crazy rules and life regulations (as my friend Jerry would say they are all carrying around “their own bag of shit.”), you are bound to, at one point, rub someone the wrong way. That’s just how it works. So if you let yourself get all whacked out of sorts by all the comments and opinions of others, you’ll lose your mind. It’s a lesson for life we learn early: “sticks and stones….words will never hurt me.” So true. All you can do is live by the rules that feel right to you, don’t worry about breaking the rules of everyone else.