My Dog’s Dilemma

I have a little Maltese. Her name is Squirt and she is almost 13 years old. Last week I noticed that every time she stepped onto our travertine stone floor, her feet would flail as if she were skating across ice and then she would immediately go SPLAT, belly-flopping onto the floor. All I could think was, “Oh my gosh! Is this old age for her? What is going on?”

I left town for a few days, only to discover upon my return earlier this week that Squirt’s dilemma had worsened. Now she wouldn’t walk across the floor at all! She would just stand on the rug, staring at the stone floor! That’s when I decided to take the bull by the horns and figure out what was going on with her.

I picked up Squirt and stared at her feet. Lo and behold, her nails were so long that they curled underneath her little paws. I had no idea that the groomer at the dog salon had failed to trim her nails the last time I took her there. No wonder Squirt kept falling!

I immediately clipped her nails. “Surely,” I thought, “THIS will do the trick. She won’t feel as if she’ll go sailing across the floor anymore.”


Boy, I was wrong! Squirt is still afraid! We have lots of area rugs in our home. Now she will stand on one then walk around in circles, eyeing another rug across the room, until she gets the nerve to race across the floor to it. She is absolutely terrified of our stone floor!

So, what do I do with this dog? I’m not sure. If anyone has an idea, I am open to hear it.

Watching Squirt reminds me of what we do as humans. When something negatively affects us, we tend to hold onto the situation, whether it’s real or not anymore. Squirt took on a belief that the stone floor would create pain for her and now she avoids it at all costs. However, the stone was never the problem; it was Squirt’s problem: her nails were too long.

How often have you had a situation in your life, thinking it was someone else who was the problem, only to discover that it was your issue? And what are you still afraid of? Are you like Squirt, holding onto a negative belief about something, thinking it will cause you pain, when in fact there is nothing to be afraid of at all?

I invite you to look closely at your life and see where you’re stuck, going around in circles just like my dog Squirt, avoiding what looks to be a problem or very scary, when in fact, there is nothing to be afraid of at all.

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