Archives for posts with tag: Manchester Terrier

Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy. – Spider Robinson


Pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week was a time of great stress – deadlines, evaluations, things to get done everywhere I looked. As the days crept along, my neck bore the burden. It was tight on Monday, aching on Tuesday. On Wednesday I had my quarterly review at work. When it was over, I was finally starting to relax. Suddenly, my neck snapped out of alignment. Pain, great pain. That night I woke up and couldn’t rest at all. Of course, the dogs sensed my discomfort.

The two Manchester terriers, Cara and Mara, both wanted to make me feel better – literally. They both jumped up by my face, licking me. Despite my best efforts, the natural reflex to protect the neck kicked in, making me jerk in pain.  They kept licking and trying to get me to move or play to feel better. While this is great puppy therapy most of the time, it was decidedly wrong for this particular occasion. They were summarily dismissed from my presence due to the fresh pain they unknowingly caused.

Chi waited until the terriers had gone to lay across the room, and then he came up close to me.

“No, Chi! Go! It hurts! Go!”  After several rounds of this, I gave up. Chi refused to leave.

The pug gingerly step-stumbled over my legs, and curled up in a ball at my feet. He snuffled with considerable nervousness.  I was still mumbling my objections. Finally I gave up and let Chi stay there at my feet.

It may hurt my pride to admit that some relatively small amount of time passed before I fell sound asleep. And, once again, I became aware of how wonderful Chi is at the fine art of being present to someone else’s pain. By insisting on “being there,” Chi made the pain seem bearable. From that point, the time passed quickly until I could go see my chiropractor and get some treatment.

The next time your animal wants to simply lie with you or rest against you, don’t be quite so fast to send them away. They may well be giving you a gift.

In the meantime, I have an hour of massage scheduled for myself tomorrow. Time to rest and rejuvenate!


Related articles


Dogs would make totally incompetent criminals.  — Dave Barry

I made an allusion earlier to one of the most persistent myths about dogs.

“Dogs love you unconditionally.”

Dogs love you unconditionally as long as you give them stuff.

Chi has two sisters, Cara and Mara. They are Manchester Terriers.

This morning, Cara was demonstrating her unconditional love, cuddling, giving puppy kisses, everything human owners like to get. I knew I had to go to work, and so I whispered to her that it was time to go, and sat up. Cara obediently and adorably jumped down to the floor. Her tail wagged and thumped the ground. She grunted and barked, trying to hurry me along. Suddenly Mara joined her, and Chi went and stood in front of the kennel they call home when their humans are at work. It was 20 minutes before I had to leave, but that didn’t matter. They heard me say it was time to go. Now, they said, we want to go into our kennel!

I looked at them and said, “Are you sure?” Cara shook all over and barked. Mara noses me out of the way as I unlatched the kennel and moves her way inside, followed close behind by Cara. After the two of them clamber in, Chi trots in. “OK,” I said. How touching, these obedient little sweet creatures. I am blessed.

I went about getting ready, doing all the little last minute chores a morning brings. With every passing minute, the thumps and sighs from the kennel grew louder. After about five minutes, Cara could no longer contain herself and let out a low yip. It didn’t take long for the others to join in. The din grew and officially became a cacophony.

Here’s the hidden agenda of the dear puppies: every morning, these dogs get a treat. It’s a good bye ritual for the day. It was time for their treat. They were telling me it was time for me to go… and get them their treat. And so, the trio sat in their kennel getting more incensed by the moment — and no treat!

Hence, Chi’s third lesson. Don’t let your sisters con you into crazy schemes.