When Words Can Hurt

Crabby and I had Maude, Sarah, Hector and DASH! out for a sunset walk.  Sarah was being typical, loving, silly Sarah, when I said the unspeakable:

I said, “I wish Sarah was normal.”

Without missing a beat, Crabby said, “She IS normal!”

Talk about a cruel thing for me to say about my Sarah.


I said those horrible words while watching Sare Bear stumble when she tried to run with the rest of the kids.   Much of the time she can rumble with the best of them, but sometimes her physical disabilities hold her back.  It breaks my heart when she gets left behind by her siblings because her legs and feet aren’t working the way she wants them to.


To see Sarah, her feet flopping in all directions, big goofy grin on her face, running straight at me, only to face plant before she reaches me, well, it hits an emotional nerve.   But Sarah never complains.  She gets up and keeps coming.    It doesn’t bother her in the least, but it does tear at my heart more than a little.


I think it’s a shame most people would look at a dog like Sarah and determine she is “Not Normal”, and therefore unadoptable.  It’s their loss.

My statement about wishing Sarah was normal wasn’t meant as an insult to her, or that I feel she is a burden in any way.  Sarah’s disabilities don’t make her Not Normal, they just make me feel bad for her sometimes.  Indeed, Sarah exceeds all standards on which ‘normal’ is based.  Sarah is perfect.   Though as her mom, I do wish she didn’t have to struggle sometimes.


There’s not a day that goes by where I’m not thankful that the stars aligned to bring us and Sarah together, even though she will never make it to old age.  And when Heaven decides it needs her more, though I will be devastated, I will also remain, as I am now, blessed.  Every second with Sarah is a second I wouldn’t trade for anything.



24 thoughts on “When Words Can Hurt

  1. A perfectly understandable thing to say and I understand…Forresy is normal in as much as his health is great and he is an active loving dog..but I say the same thing as he is dog aggressive..ten years old and loving with our 11 year old foxy and the four cats and the sheep but I have said before I wish he was normal..could play with other dogs instead of fear them…we love them warts and all and only wish less struggles as you say..but you are right would not swap them for all the gold in the world 🙂

    1. Thank you for recognizing ‘adjustments’ that needed to be made with Forresy! Around here, people would give him up so they could actually play with other dogs! You’re a great Mom!

      1. Thank you 🙂 I spelt his name wrong in my comment to you too so maybe not the best mu or maybe the sweat in the eyes bwaaha his name is Forrest 🙂 and bless him he has been with us since puppyhood but was a puppymill boy so always had issues compounded with stupid dog owners allowing adult dogs off leash to charge a puppy…and make his issues worse..he will be 11 this year and her he has 11 acres to have fun with Doc nd us swim in the dam sniff out good things…yes I would love to walk him out with other dogs..but for him this would be too much overload..so we accept who heis and love him as such..i am glad we got him indeed because I dread what his outcome would have been with people who didn’t have the time or the money (we have spent thousands trying to help change his ways) to help him..sound asleep he is snoring his grey muzzled head off and just asking for a big kiss from mum 🙂

      2. I just figured the “T” melted into a “Y” in your current climactic conditions, and that you decided to run with it 🙂

  2. I think all pet parents want their furry children to be “normal” but I think that Sarah, and many dogs like her, teach us and show us how to live life without letting things such as a disability take the joy out of life. Your Sarah is a perfect example of courage, and that you and all of us, pet parents, should celebrate, admire and emulate:-)

    1. I actually feel bad for the ones that have a disability or other problem, and their parents treat them with kid gloves as a result.

      Case in point, I have a property I work next door to an elderly chihuahua. The Chi is starting to slow significantly, so the Mom “walks” her in a baby carriage. Mom only lets her walk in the back yard, and keeps her on the couch the rest of the time.

      Mom had a hip replacement a while back, and hired a dog walker to ‘walk’ the chi in the stroller. Once the walker got out of sight of Mom’s house, she put an extremely bouncy and happy elderly chi on the ground and leashed walked her. It’s the only time I have ever seen Chi with a toothy smile. This went on for 6 weeks.

      I understand completely how much Mom loves her Chi, and doesn’t want her to be uncomfortable in any way, but clearly Chi isn’t happy having her movements constricted.

      Let the kids be kids. They’ll let YOU know when it’s time to make changes, not the other way around!

      1. That is funny but very common. You are right, let the kids be kids. In some cases, they do have to be restrained and have a lot of bed rest like after surgery or an injury, but they all need to exercise. Alex, my almost 12 year old furry kid, damaged her ACL a couple of months ago. The vet recommed surgery, but because of her age we opted for a brace. How is she doing? Much better. At the beginning, she was able to walk 3 mins. by my watch and she was exhausted and slept for hours. Now? I am able to take her out, when the weather is not too cold, and she is able to walk about 15 mins. Slow, but she walks. Yes, your kids should exercise and also relax. Moderation being the key to it all. Have a great week:-)

  3. A totally understandable thing to say. As you know I’ve been worried about Bertie’s leg joints for 2 years now and what bothers me most is that he’d miss out on running and jumping and doing all the things he loves the most. I don’t care that he might be sick and need extra help and attention, I just worry about his quality of life. And that’s all you were doing – wanting Sarah to have the same quality of life as the other furry kids because you love her x

    1. It’s hard sometimes, especially when wondering when that thresh hold of quality of life is crossed, but it’s so worth it!

    1. We’re already 1 year outside her anticipated lifespan! I think the advantage with Sarah is she’s a pit bull. Running and playing aren’t even in the top 10 of her most favorite things to do. Items 1-10 are different positions in which she likes to meld with the couch – typical pitty priorities.

      If Sarah had been one who lived to run and play, we would be entering the stage of wondering about her quality of life. Like our beloved Otis (another pitty), quality of life to Sarah doesn’t become effected until her favorite past time (sleeping on the couch) becomes an issue. I think as long as Sarah’s ‘episodes’ remain far apart in timing, we’ll have a few more great years!

  4. Sara is Normal! She just has extraordinary ways of getting from points A to points B(it makes her extra special seen through the eyes of love)

    1. Welcome! I’ve never met Kyla, but golly if Kali isn’t the cutest thing! We had the pleasure of doing a weekend outing with her!

  5. Bless her. I can so understand why you would say this, but so often it is a reflection upon ourselves and our wants and not theirs. She looks pretty special to me! Plus when you look at the family she is I don’t think normal would describe any of you ;0)

  6. She is really beautiful and special, and so lucky to be with you. My kids are a bit of a motley crew too, and so I know exactly what you mean. Us Moms love our babies just they way they are, but sometimes for their sakes our hearts just want to wish all their little problems away 🙂

    … I believe my Mom has said the same thing about me a time or ten as well, lol

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