Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Shame Game By: Karen Pilarski

I knew going in there might be met with snarls and growls. She was breathing hard and panting. The vet wanted to take her in back instead of giving her the shots on the cold metal table. That should have been the first red flag.

The last visit my Border Collie named Sundae took her shots like a champ. Sundae was led in the back and already whining.

The metal exam table at the vet.
 My husband and I sad in the exam room making barfing motions at the seaside decor. Knotted nets and sea shells were glued to the wall. "Whoooo lives in a pineapple under the sea." I sang in a mocking manner. In the background loud barking from other dogs could be heard.

The vet came back and said our pup was not happy and trying to bite. I asked about sedation. The vet said she didn't need that just yet. Soon Sundae appeared in a bright orange robe lease.

Her vet looked agitated and was holding Sundae's purple collar and pink lease. "Your dog is freakish about her paws and seems to be very timid and scared." Then the vet proceeded to give us pamphlets on dog training. I mentioned that she needed to have her shots updated so we could take her to training. Hence the eventful vet appointment.

The vet then said she should have been trained and again seems fearful. She insisted we try this for another day. I looked over at my husband with disdain. "Where we just dog shamed?"

Poor Sundae was scrunching up her nose and snapping her teeth. She only managed to get one of her shots and once again narrowly avoided her nails being trimmed.

I was thinking about how people get shamed for almost everything. Why do you think there is an anxious dreading feeling when going to a doctor or fitting room?

The dental visits is what I dislike. I don't mind going and dealing with the dentists. It is some dental hygienists where I go that make the patient feel ashamed.

Dental Hygienist: "Do you floss?"
Me: "Yes I do"
Dental Hygienist: "You need to floss."
Me: "Uh, I said I do floss."
Dental Hygienist: "You are not doing it right."

Then other off hand comments on the condition of the teeth and gums are given. Not only did they violate my mouth, but made me feel badly.

I understand some professions are thankless and there are many people who don't take care of their dogs, children, furniture, health the way they should. Is shaming the answer?

There is talk about body shaming and bullying. It is not just children and teens who receive the brunt of it. Adults are often subjected to ridicule and criticism. 

Give me one adult who hasn't had to hear it from someone about being single, or who they married, how old they were when they had kids. If they had kids. The torment is so continuous that you have wonder "what am I doing right?"

Sundae leaving the vet's office.
I make choices that others with more experience  disagree with. People who zero experience find the gumption to chime in.

I don't like that fragile, walking on  thin cracked egg shells state of mind. Deep down I know there is a feeling of wanting to help. However, maybe some sensitivity and tone change would make all the difference.

Maybe I need to get over myself and just accept people are trying to do their jobs. Perhaps friends and spouses are reacting this way, because that is just how they are in life.

If conditions are that unbearable, then finding new health providers, friends, relationships are in order.

For Sundae that might be necessary. I have a pissy dog with Freddy Krueger nails needing to get her last shot.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Protesting for Children By: Karen Pilarski

I keep thinking of the quote from the movie "Network." Where the anchor says "I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I guess what it comes down to, is that people just want to be heard. The bad part is the message is often clouded by rash actions and judgments.  

The world certainly is full of fear as of late. For every Ferguson there is a similar scenario unfolding in a different city. Burning buildings, stopping traffic and marches are almost the norm now.
The justice system’s decisions can be hard to comprehend. I remember being perturbed on the acquittal of Casey Anthony who was tried for the murder of her toddler Caylee Anthony.  I felt sorrow at no one being held responsible for the horrific death of an innocent child. 

That is what is at the heart of those marching in the cold of winter while throats become parched from the chants.  

I despise any act of gun violence no matter who pulled the trigger. In my hometown of Milwaukee it is sickening how many lives are lost due to bullets. Children can’t play on a jungle gym and a small girl can’t sit on her grandmother’s lap. 

Granted recent protests involve cases of adult men with various circumstances. What really affected me was the death of Tamir Rice, a twelve year old boy holding a toy gun. He was shot over being a typical twelve year old. Pre-teens are rebellious and want independence.  Show me any kid regardless of race who is obedient all the time. 

I have family members in law enforcement. I understand training and protocols.  None of those explanations make a loss of life any easier to deal with.  Even I find myself asking why a person had to be shot and why weren’t they stunned with a Taser? 

While I don’t condone violent protesting, I can put myself in the shoes of others. If something happened to a family member or friend I would be devastated. I wonder why more people don’t organize peaceful protests over light sentencing of sex offenders and drunk drivers.  

There is not much I can say to lessen the anger of others.  I’m not convinced a guilty verdict would bring closure. It is evident something needs to change. 

What we do now is up to us individually, as a community and a nation. Either we can come together and unite against all violence or we can just continue this cycle of blame, anger and destruction.
I want all children to enjoy their cities without fearing bullets spraying in the distance. 

Kids need to be kept safe from sex offenders, drunk drivers and people high on power with a weapon in hand. Badge or no badge, our children deserve better than this. They at times, deserve better than us.