Unintended Consequences

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t think through the phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished,” because it really made no sense to me.  If it was a good deed, there wasn’t any reason to think about punishment.  But then –

Jake hasn’t been eating like he should for the past week so I decided that now was the time to begin seriously spoiling him.  I went dog food shopping, looking specifically for grain free canned dog food that had nothing but natural ingredients, no grain, and every ingredient was not only one I could pronounce, it was also one that I could spell.  I thought I hit the jackpot when I found a grain free canned dog food that contained a mix of duck and sweet potato.  I thought we were still good even after opening the can and finding something that looks suspiciously like a paté.  Jake seemed excited after getting a whiff of the contents so I spooned an amount into his dish and crossed my fingers.  The food lasted about 30 seconds, only because Jake spent several moments licking his dish not once, but twice.  Sigh of relief from me, to be honest.  We had something he was interested in eating.  The cottage cheese, pumpkin, and yogurt would be given a rest.  Fast forward to about an hour after he finished his meal….

Sitting in the living room after taking a break from the computer, I was a bit surprised to see Jake get up as quickly as he can these days and walk from the room.  Normally, he’s an attachment to my left hip.  In less than a nanosecond I knew why he moved.  Green air produced by an older dog is lethal at best, and we now have doors and windows opened to air out the house.  Whatever he passed has permeated every room except the bedrooms at the far end of the house.  Good Lord!  Jake has decided that while it’s still comfortable outside, he wants to stay on the deck.  I can’t wait to hear from my neighbors because the gentle breeze is going to bring them a surprise.  My well intentioned deed won’t be repeated tomorrow morning, I can assure everyone of that.

Here’s what I didn’t take into consideration – Jake is a senior pup, over 11 years old now.  His digestive system has been impacted by the gall bladder issue, and the impact of the medications he’s now taking.  Adding the additional protein at a level he’s not accustomed to wasn’t all that smart on my part, even though the portion given to him was small (about three tablespoons) but it was more than enough to insure that Jake and I are sleeping with the windows wide open and the door to the back yard left open just enough for him to slide through.

Sometimes we make decisions with all sorts of good intentions in mind but we get figuratively smacked in the back of the head with unintended consequences.  Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I think it’s far more practical to accept the consequences and revise the initial decision to insure that those consequences aren’t repeated.  It’s okay to make mistakes because we tried to do something right or good.  It’s worse to simply do nothing and make no decisions because we’re afraid of what might happen.  Jake will get through this and his digestive system will settle back into what is his new normal.  I’ll be on the receiving end of some more green air, along with a couple of dirty looks from Jake.  And the upside to all this?  For a couple of moments since that devastating day in March, I actually was glad that Bailey and Elliot weren’t here.  Jake is a rank amateur compared to how quickly Elliot could clear a room and Bailey wasn’t half bad herself.  Even in the midst of the green air cloud, there is a positive.

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