The Magic of the “Three Rs”



Life has a tendency to throw us curves. More than a few these days, I’d say. In addition to all the upsets and upheavals caused by the pandemic and whatever part of the political/social/economic reality has grabbed your attention, there’s the day to day of our ordinary lives.


Like my dog. The younger one, a three-year old I’ve nick-named “Abounding Joy” for his astonishing ability to bound a good five feet straight up in the air. From all four legs. Repeatedly. So the other day when he bounded from three legs, instead of four, and zoomed around the living room favoring one of his hind legs, I panicked. What’s with my “boy”? Of course this happened at 10:00 pm when a quickie visit to the vet was out of the question, and the only open emergency vet clinic was far away and “by appointment only” (who has emergencies “by appointment”?!).


That’s when I remembered the magic of the “Three Rs.” No, not “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic,” although those Three Rs certainly have their own magic. I’m referring to a different set. “Recover. Recalibrate. Restart.”


Recover, as in take a deep breath (or several deep breaths) to release the panic. Recalibrate, as in use my thinking brain to assess the situation. In this case, remember that my dogs have from time to time strained a muscle in their wanton cavorting, which has healed quickly without human assistance. Restart, as in start fresh. In this case decide that since cherished pup was not showing any signs of distress, that when I palpated his leg he didn’t cringe or whimper, that I could wait until morning to see if he was OK. If not, I could get him to my vet immediately.


Whew! Relief. Which I suppose is a fourth “R,” the natural consequence of the first three.


We function much better when not in the grip of panic, anger or fear. Since remembering the Three Rs, I’ve used them repeatedly, for the smallest of issues - spilled water on the coffee table, to bigger ones - anxiety over upcoming taxes.


Recover. Recalibrate. Restart. And yes, relief will ensue, which in turn makes it much easier to deal with whatever caused the upset in the first place.


Oh, and cherished pup did heal himself, miraculously and quickly, within 12 hours. Good boy!