A Little Help

Violet started walking slowly with her head held low.  She wasn’t stalking.  She had thrown up this morning, so I was concerned she was about to again.  She didn’t, so I started checking paws.  Right front was clear.  Right rear had a quinoa sized glass shard in the pad.  I pulled that out and she walked normally.  When was she going to tell me?

The stoic dog.  Frida was one and it seems Violet may be as well.  While some dogs don’t hesitate to communicate discomfort, the stoic dog carries on as best they can without complaint.  It is tough to live with a stoic dog.  To compensate for their muted messages, I turn up my sensitivity.  As a result, I am often pretty sure my dog is a heartbeat away from death or serious illness.  I am thankful to have a partner to help with the decisions.  Lacey calms me down, or I calm her down.  Without each other, we might have Violet at the vet every other day.

Abrupt topic change now.  In an effort to avoid the black hole of social media, I picked up a digital subscription to the New York Times.  It has been great.  Here is a video I enjoyed watching today.

What do you think?

Here is another potential eye opener.  At my last bond conference, I attended a panel on the impact of implicit bias.  Implicit bias was a new to me term.  I would have more quickly grasped the concept if it were called subconscious bias.  Or if I had first read this.  To  prepare for the panel, we were asked to take one of several online tests to measure our implicit bias.  I took the test to measure implicit bias relating to disability.  At the end of the test, I was told I have a strong negative bias against the disabled.  Gulp.  Hard to hear that.  I don’t want to believe it.  Going back to the home page for the test, I see the following warning:

If you are unprepared to encounter interpretations that you might find objectionable, please do not proceed further.

If I read that before, I blew it off.  What I do have to hide from myself, I (may have) thought. Something, perhaps, it turns out.  Something I am very surprised by and am decidedly “not cool with.”  At the conference, we responded to a poll using an app on our phones.  I wasn’t alone in being surprised by my results.  That helped some, but only some.  Still, I am glad I took the test.  Knowing that I may harbor an implicit bias will help me adjust my actions going forward.  Before I make a decision, I can stop and ask myself whether the decision could be influenced by an implicit bias.  That said, as much as I am glad I took the one test, and suggest you consider doing so as well, I didn’t take any of the other thirteen tests offered.  I am not sure I am yet “prepared to encounter interpretations that you might find objectionable.”  Someday.  Whew.  That was heavy.

Local?  My friend put together a great sounding show at the Low Beat.  Tonight at 8.  Lyft there, enjoy a drink and some music.  We’ll see if I practice what I preach.  Here’s hoping.

Happy Friday, you all.

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