Lesson # 4 Bear misfortune with fortitude
This lesson was inspired by the way Astro deals with his bath - with fortitude. By and large Astro is a stinky dog so we have various levels of Astro's cleaning: every morning he is brushed and combed, a ritual that culminates with application of Emami talcum powder; his paws are cleaned if they are wet and muddy; he is hosed and dried after his walks if it has been raining; he gets a sponge bath if he is smelly but it's not at the levels of public health concern; and the last resort of giving him a bath is applied when his aroma permeates our bed linen even when he doesn't directly come in contact with them.
Out of all these cleaning methods his favorite is the brushing and combing and, least favorite is the bath. As soon as we mention bath (in English, Hindi or Kannada) and he sees us assembling his bathing stuff, Astro ascends to the top of the staircase. He knows that resistance is futile but he puts up his price anyway. Since he weighs well over 70 kgs it's impossible to simply carry him to the bathing spot. Instead we have to trick him in to descending after which we leash him. This is followed by him "sitting it out" (for sit outs see this post) and us dragging with all our might. For his descent various cajoling tricks are employed: sweet talking accompanied with biscuit or bread bribe or; ringing the bell and announcing the arrival of his favorite visitor or; pretending that we are eating something that he would love to partake of (remember the togetherness theme? that applies to eating as well).
Once at the bathing spot though, Astro gives in. He allows himself to be soaked, shampooed and rinsed. For a dog who starts whining at 7:30pm for his 8:00pm dinner this is quite remarkable. Not a peep out of him is heard through the ordeal and he patiently waits for it to be over. He does distance himself from the water and doesn't employ any body language that conveys cheerfulness but he doesn't complain.
Well, misfortune visits us all. From big to small misfortunes we have to brace ourselves to face situations out of our control and Astro teaches us that in these circumstances one must just suck it up and wait for it to pass. To lament and curse our luck would be a foolish waste of time. Good luck with this one - isn't whining so much easier? :)
The last few Lessons: