Purple Trees and Rescue Newfies

When Dave was in pre-school and kindergarten he used to get fussed at a lot. It seemed he wasn’t making his trees right.

The shape was fine, but the tops of the trees were invariably purple instead of green.

We had lots of conversations about this.

I assured my budding artist that his trees were fabulous just the way they were and that he could make trees any color he wanted to, at home.

Academic that I’ve been for years, I tried to explain that his teacher was, oddly enough, more into following directions than she was into the trees themselves.

Therefore, I proposed, we’d make trees any way we liked them at home but, at school, we’d humor the teacher and make green trees.

This was not as effective a strategy as I had hoped. My normally agreeable son continued to make purple trees.

I continued to joust with the teachers.

A couple of years later, in a follow-up eye exam, it was determined that Dave was colorblind in a lot of mid-range tones. He couldn’t tell green from purple.

I felt terrible!

It’s kind of been a day like that around here.

You see, today was Luther’s ophthalmology appointment.

He’s been with us for about 18 months now and it’s been clear from the beginning that he didn’t see too well. Lately I noticed that either his sight was decreasing or I just knew him well enough to realize he didn’t see as well as I thought.

In the beginning, he was terribly anxious and afraid of, well, everything.

We’ve worked hard. He’s now a friendly guy who radiates good will in the world unless his security sisters are far away. He’s a really great dog.

We practiced for this appointment. Holding his head. Saline eye drops just to get used to the idea. Lots and lots of treats.

Getting in the car was our first challenge as he needed a good bit of a boost. Then we got lost. Eventually, we triumphed and arrived at the specialty vet.

He was very brave, all things considered. Blessedly, we were able to get a good exam without him having a come-apart.

As the old story goes, we don’t know whether it was good news or bad news.

According to the vet, “we suspect that he is completely blind.”

I both was and wasn’t ready for that.

We’ll set aside for the moment the fact this this is almost assuredly the result of bad breeding and criminally negligent puppy mill owners.

Mostly, I’m blown away by this big guy who is finding his way in the world with his nose and ears and muscle memory!

And, it seems that I have been promoted from transitional object to seeing eye person.

Frankly, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

Here’s what I do know:

  • He’s making it so far.
  • I absolutely do not want to limit him by assuming what he can or can’t do.
  • There’s more learning for us all to do.

Tomorrow, he and the girls are off to their happy place at Camp for I am on the way to Italy with paintbrushes and a drum.

My usual 10 pound batch of directions for the counselors will need a bit of editing but I’ve been working on that most of the day.

He’s going to be great. So are Sarah and Phoebe.

I may be a bit of a mess, but I’m blessed with a world-class batch of dog aunties even when I’m out of cell phone range. And the Legendary Husband in town to deliver extra food!

As the prophet, Steve Glenn, would remind us, if I want him to be capable and happy, I’ve got to suck it up and let him.

Luther doesn’t draw trees so much as he pees on them but however he does it is just fine with me!






Shining A Light On The Path

Most of you probably remember the TV sitcom, Mad About You, starring Helen Hunt as Jamie and Paul Reiser as Paul. In my all time favorite episode, Jamie and Paul were getting ready for bed after a visit from her parents. “How come my family can always push all my buttons?” Jamie asked. “Because they installed them,” Paul replied.

Mic drop!

Over 30 years of working with families tell me just how true that is. (You already knew that, too!) There are a couple of other things that are true, as well. One of them is that others can push our buttons, too. Especially public figures.

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Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach