Like chocolate for dogs...

Posted by on 31 December, 2010

My neighbor spent Christmas night in hospital- with his puppy. After a tad too much Christmas cheer and an orgy of turkey and plum pudding their entire household had crashed, leaving boxes of chocolates in plain view of their new spoodle who hoofed in and fell into a coma. You see chocolate is neurotoxic- it kills brain cells and, as it turns out, kills dogs.

My neighbour’s dog survived the chocolate ordeal but 50 percent of the dogs admitted to hospital with the very same Christmas-induced chocolate overdose with him weren’t as lucky. Ironically, my neighbor told me, the survivors apparently develop a taste for the deadly stuff. Having had a whiff of chocolate, they don’t comprehend the finer physiological points of the effects of chocolate on their cerebral cortexes and just want MORE. They’ll sniff it and go after it for ages afterwards. Dog owners, I ask you; in a pink fit would you give your dog chocolate? Even if he begged? Even if it was the very thing he craved and desired above anything in the world. Not unless you actually hate the dog. You’d say no for his own good right?

That there, my friends is a little allegory which has a whole raft of applications for all of us. But if you think I’m going to lecture you about not giving your kids the iPad or $200 to spend at Westfield, that’d be way too easy.

I’m going to talk about giving a loved one fodder for a fatal attraction to anger and negativity. You know the ruts people get into when they feel betrayed, hurt, aggrieved or otherwise blah. There’s a certain period where you owe them a decent sympathetic tongue clucking, a generous shoulder and ear. After that you have to make a choice; do you become part of the solution or do you become part of the deadly spiral that sends hurt, angry and miserable people to no place good?

Being sad or angry or both is not only a dud way to live, it’s also potentially lethal. Linked to heart disease, early death and some cancers, it’s no joke. Negative people often end up in unhealthy relationships that further fuel the spiral. If you care about your friend or loved one, remain part of the problem and fuel their misery at their peril.

Next time you take a hurt and bitter loved one out for a coffee, ask yourself whether she needs to hear the nasty gossip about the one who hurt her or whether she needs a joke or talk about travel or the latest novel you read.

She might not want to hear about it. She might only want to chew your ears off about her #^*%#@$&* boss or *&$@#%!~ ex husband and she might want to hear nothing other than what a creep you think he is too but for her good, think of those chocolate seeking puppies and what you would do to keep them away from their fool’s gold.

Happy New Year.