He’s got bad knees, but he doesn’t like swallowing pills. I can sympathize with him. He’s not as fast as he used to be, or brave for that matter, but who is at this age? He limps a little, but so do a lot of us. The difference is that most of us can force ourselves into swallowing pills to help our abused joints. That’s one of the differences between Larry and me.

He goes out of his way to not take glucosamine. He’s stubborn like that. I don’t look forward to swallowing the horse sized pills on a daily basis, but that’s life; we have to do things that we don’t always like. Wisdom tells us to sacrifice some things, like discomfort and taste, for the physical reward is just part of it.

When Larry refuses to take his pill it sometimes makes me irritated. I know it’s best for him, but he only wants to put in his mouth what tastes good. Sometimes when he refuses to take his pill I’m closer to indifferent, “Suit yourself, big guy. I’m only trying to help you, you’re only hurting yourself,” I tell him.

I’ve noticed the things that irritate us about others is often the very thing we’re guilty of or are susceptible to ourselves.

Sometimes I eat things I shouldn’t, things I know aren’t the best choices for my health. Occasionally I eat late when I shouldn’t. Then there are times I’ll pick the steak over the fresh fish, the pasta or rice over the vegetables… and those are just the physical choices I make. The spiritual choices made by my free will aren’t always so different from the physical.

Often I’ll park my carcass in front of the TV instead of picking up the Good Book or writing. I know one, if not poison, can lead to extreme indifference spiritually and the other leads to health and joy and peace spiritually.

I’m guilty of all the things I get so irritated with Larry for. Even worse, I know better; I’m smarter than Larry.

While I’m collecting the vast and varying size pills in the morning to ingest at different times throughout the day, I watch Larry often spit the only pill he has to take all day out onto the floor like an animal.

My wife tends to pamper him and tries to coax him into making the right choice. She wraps the brown joint medicine into a tasty slice of turkey or chicken and gives it to Larry. Sometimes he takes it, other times he eats the meat around the pill and drops it like it’s poison.

and he has to wear diapers...

and he has to wear diapers…

My wife picks it up and tries to fool him again… with marginal success.

When I get mad at Larry I have to remind myself that I too struggle with doing the right things – spiritually and physically. I also have to remind myself that Larry’s a dog. He doesn’t fathom the benefit of swallowing pills and the consequences of free will…

Which puts me and my choices in a pretty incriminating light.