It was somewhere around 2:16 a.m. The kitchen was dark except for a small lamp. I did not have my glasses on and I simply could not take it anymore.
One of our dogs, Oreo, who was a mix between something and something else, causing him to look like a thirty five pound kindasorta sheep dog, was miserable.
Oreo was loving and laid back.
Most of the time.
So it was unusual that he was causing such a commotion in the middle of the night.
Crying, running around the house in a spasmatic manner.
The cause of the distress was that Oreo had been groomed earlier in the day for the summer and his skin was irritated.
We had applied a pet spray for skin irritation and placed the bottle in the kitchen cabinet right next to another bottle, that looked identical except for the label.
In the dark and without my glasses, I led Oreo into the kitchen and reached for the pet skin irritation spray.
Saying things like, “Okay buddy, this is going to make you feel better, this will help good ole Oreo.”
I sprayed some in the air to make sure it was working.
Rolling Oreo over on his back I sprayed all his private areas while saying, “Roll over buddy, this will help your privates feel better.”
And I started squirting and squirting, all over Oreo.
I stopped for a moment to see if it was helping.
It was then that Oreo jumped to his feet, let out some type of scream and took off running like he had been shot out of a cannon.
Running through the living room he was yelping louder than before.
I said to myself, “What is wrong with him?”
It was then that I looked up at the cabinet where the other identical bottle remained.
I could not tell them apart except for the label.
I took the other bottle down and looked at the label and it said, Hartz Mountain Skin Care For Pets.
I then looked at the label on the bottle in my hand which had just been applied to Oreo including his private area and the label said, BioFreeze.
Me misapplying BioFreeze to Oreo’s situation was an obvious mistake that Oreo was now paying the price for.
By attempting to apply comfort without first reading the label I only caused greater discomfort.
My misapplication is a lot like words we apply into someone else’s life.
We mean well but often cause more harm than good.
Horace, a philosopher from 1 B.C. is quoted as saying, “Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.”
King Lemuel put it this way, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Let your words today, and my words today, be uplifting and encouraging.
A sentence spoken filled with hope can and will change someone’s whole day.
And their life.