We gave Charlie a bath this morning, and I decided to cut some of the knots out of his fur while he was drying. One clip of the scissors made him yelp and run away; once I nabbed him and brought him back to the living room, I realized I had cut more than I bargained for.
After his initial yelp, Charlie didn't seem to notice his wound so much. He was up and romping around with his toys; I was the inconsolable one weeping on the floor. And this, my friends, is Reason Umpteen why I can never have kids: I hurt Charlie. My carelessness caused him pain. Every time I look at him, I burst into tears again, even though he seems to have accepted the 8 shiny new staples hiding under his right ear.
I learned and emotionally (ugh -- and financially) costly lesson today, one that I won't soon forget. I have the power to hurt Charlie. Or my husband, or my child someday. I really don't like the thought of that.
Don't be so hard on yourself. The mark of being a good person/wife/mother isn't whether or not you ever do anything that hurts someone else, it's how you deal with things when they happen.
I also have a dog who sometimes needs knots/mats cut out of his fur (especially behind the ears) and I used to always worry I was going to cut off half his ear. What I do now is use a flea comb (long handled with straight metal spikes). I get it inbetween the knot/mat and his skin and cut on the side of the comb that is away from him after pulling it out as far as the knot will allow. That way I know I'll never get his skin. Whatever hair is left usually combs out nicely once the knot/mat is gone.
Posted by: Peggy at February 19, 2006 03:11 PM (a4vU5)
exactly what I was going to suggest. Those knots get matted down to the skin, but you don't realize that until you make that first mistake. Now you know. I panic about clipping my babies (my cats) claws because of stories that you could hit the vein and they'll bleed all over the place. As a result, their claws start to turn under and cause them pain. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet! (Or pay to take them to the vet, where he always looks at me like I'm crazy - "You want to pay me to clip their claws? You know you can buy scissors - " "Yes, yes, I know and I'll STILL pay you." I'm sure Charlie has forgiven you.
Posted by: Oda Mae at February 19, 2006 04:35 PM (Ag/cV)
You obviously don't remember when we bought a clipper set, and your dad decided he'd start cutting your brothers' hair to save money. That's when "buzzes" were popular. Never mind that he's a mechanical engineer! What he didn't realize was that you were supposed to put that little plastic thing on the end of the clippers to decide the length of the hair. Poor Michael looked like he'd been run over by a lawnmower! Not only was the haircut awful, he had cuts all over his head that had to heal! I wouldn't let Dad near Brian after seeing how Michael's turned out! And of course, Michael didn't want to sit still long enough to have Dad cut his hair anyway! After that, I decided it was worth every penny to take them to a barber!!! Same with Toby now! He goes regularly to PetsMart to get groomed. I tried a few times to get rid of the knots myself, but I decided I'll let someone else do it. Same with the toes, Oda Mae. I don't do teeth either!
Posted by: Nancy at February 19, 2006 06:30 PM (6s7Zq)
Part of the 'learning' every parent or pet parent does is by trial and error. I've cut my son's ear...not my DOG son's ear...my HUMAN son's ear when trimming his hair. And he survived (and doesn't even remember). It's perfectly natural to fear hurting the ones you love. And it's perfectly normal to slip up every once in a while. They (the kids, husbands and pets) know you love them. They just might get a little jittery around you and something sharp.
Posted by: Kathleen A at February 20, 2006 10:28 AM (7qm8p)
I agree with Kathleen and everyone else. I have also slipped with the scissors and cut my son's ear a bit once when I was cutting his hair. He knows it was accidental, and believe me, he sits VERY still now when I cut his hair! =) Believe me, you make plenty of mistakes as a parent, mistakes that hurt your children physically and emotionally, but they are like a dog. They forgive and forget and move on and you are still crying over it, but they don't care. They know you love them. Unfortunately, parenting doesn't come with a manual, so it's a constant learning game, and sometimes you have to apologize to your kids. But they will respect you more when you can admit to a mistake and move on.
Posted by: Adrienne at February 20, 2006 04:25 PM (yAWf0)
All of us have the power to hurt each other. Understanding that, and dealing with it appropriately is part of being an adult. Emotionally, physically, accidentally (as in this case), intentionally, for good reason, for no reason.
Thinking how bad you felt about accidentally causing a small injury to your pet should allow you to reflect about what sort of monsters can cut someone's throat while they chant praises to their god.
Posted by: asm826 at March 05, 2006 12:56 AM (nHUDe)
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