So, we all deal with grief in different ways. My sister, Iris, dealt with the loss of our Mother and her husband within five months by adopting a five year old Beagle/Pekingese. For reasons that I will explain in a minute, I have chosen to give her the nom de blog of The Huntress, like the DC superhero/villain.

The reason I have named her this is because aforementioned canine apparently sees it as her mission to rid the world of all squirrels. She has, so far, been unsuccessful in this effort for three reasons:

1. Squirrels have their own superpowers and can leap tall trees in a single bound.

2. Even if The Huntress did catch up to a squirrel, said squirrel would claw her eyes out.

3. The Huntress rarely goes outside without a leash, rendering both of the above factors moot.

I’ve been dog sitting this week while Iris is visiting her grandsons, so I’ve had many opportunities to witness The Huntress’ behavior. We’re walking along or hanging out in the backyard just as calm as you please, then suddenly her little ears go up and she’s hot in pursuit. The chase is on, her goal is within sight, she is gaining on her prey, then ***YOINK*** The leash pulls her back, the squirrel is up the nearest tree, game over.

As I observed this scenario this afternoon, I heard myself saying to her, “Man, life on a leash is a bitch isn’t it?”

Of course, if The Huntress had the ability of human speech she might have answered, “No, Uncle Joe, but I am.”

This did not happen. But it got me thinking, aren’t most of us held back by some kind of leash? In my case, it’s pretty clear that my depression has wreaked havoc on my life. Money problems. Socio-economic status holds a lot of people back. In many countries the color of your skin, the family you were born into, or your gender can be a leash that holds you back. The deity you worship (or don’t). Who you are attracted to. These can hold you back too if the majority doesn’t approve.

Or are you of the opinion that all of the above “leashes” are just excuses? Crutches?

On the other hand, maybe we need some of these leashes. Just like my leash keeps The Huntress from running into the woods after a squirrel and getting lost or eaten by a bigger dog (or a particularly bad ass squirrel), there are leashes that are in place in civilized society that keep me at bay. I can’t take out my anger at being cut off in traffic by murdering the butt wipe that cut me off. This “leash” keeps me from having blood on my hands and, to be perfectly honest, has also kept me from being murdered when I drive like a butt wipe.

I don’t have any answers to these questions or a profound conclusion. Just some thoughts. As Arsenio Hall used to say, “these are just things that make you go hmmm…”

So, fervent readers, any thoughts? What leashes are (for good or ill) holding you back?


7 thoughts on “Life on a Leash

  1. Damn good post. You highlighted something my pastor commented on last week! He said we should ‘get rid of the associations not of God – the things that are holding us back from reaching our goals/future and the plan God has for us’. Why indeed would we want to be held back anyway? I liked your creative and funny expression of that point here.

  2. I agree that certain leashes can help or hinder us, especially in our developing, younger years. There’s a good argument to be made on benefits of specific leashes placed on individuals who insist on making poor decisions which have previously led to a negative outcome.

    However all learning is based on trial and error, to skip that process might lead to LBS (Lazy Brain Disease) ;p

    Then of course there are “other” types of leashes, that might be better discussed in a more, private, setting? ^_~

  3. I prefer the analogy of boundaries and borders to leashes. Leashes have slavish overtones. Many animals, including humans, live quite happily within boundaries and borders. Using that analogy, they function as a definition and clarity of purpose and authority which brings security and relative peace. Even while we walk the circumference of our borders, looking for a loophole to escape, the exercise provides us with greater understanding of who we are and what we are about. Its about identity and in getting that knowledge, authority.

    • Some very good thoughts, as usual. In some way our borders define us, even as we seek to redefine them…and burst out of them when necessary.

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