Underdog

I’ve been listening to ‘Raise your glass’ by P!nk a lot lately and the whole underdog phrase still bothers me. I don’t get it; I just can’t see her as being an underdog.

Yeah the music industry is tough and you have a lot of competition and obviously some radio stations find it easier to refuse playing certain songs rather than play a bleeped version. But with all of that said, underdog is not a phrase I would use in regards to someone who has such a varied fans-for-life fan base. If I had to use the word ‘dog’ in a phrase to describe Alecia Moore it would be more like she’s the only dog at a cat show…

Anyway, my point was actually that I spent the last week with my future in laws and they have quite a few dogs. They have four Toi-poms, a Jack-Russell, Alsatian-wolf hound and a non pedigree dog called Beast. Everyone in the family has their favourite dog or in the mother’s case favourite mongoose but the Toi-poms are excluded from the favourites list.

The first Toi-pom is the eldest one, female and called Dino, she is dark brown and gets preferential treatment due to her age and the fact that she doesn’t bark at absolutely everything that moves like the males do. The second dog is Dino’s daughter Pookie and a light brown but also gets rather preferential treatment because she’s considered to be the baby of the lot and has big brown eyes. Then we get to the males: Socks (also light brown) and the Wolfie the only black Toi-pom. If you want to talk about underdogs, these two would have to qualify. It’s not that they’ve had a hard life or are treated badly, they could just use a bit more love.

The males belonged to JS’s late-grandmother who was probably a bit too old to be all cuddly and lovey-dovey with them as puppies not to mention never really having energy to play fetch or teach them tricks. Just a side note before anyone starts asking why people who can’t exactly pay a lot of attention to their dogs are allowed to have dogs: these weren’t ordinary circumstances! Living alone on a huge farm while trying to run it for the sole purpose of keeping your late husband’s memory alive and being absolutely terrified in your own house every day because the guy who gets your farm as soon as you croak lives just a stone through away from your bedroom window, warrants special consideration.

Either way, these 2 little dogs were basically scared half to death by the ‘future farm owners’. As hard as they tried to protect their home, it took its toll on them. You can still see it when people wearing specific clothes walk by and they flinch or they quiver as soon as they see the thunder clouds approaching. They’ve faced difficult situations considering they’re just Toi-poms. Even though they are younger than the female dogs you would never be able to tell just by looking at them.

So this whole week I made sure to give them as much attention as I possibly could and I like to believe it made a difference. But like with all recovery processes, it’ll take time before they realize they can go back to being pets instead of guard dogs.

Even while I was playing with them, they find it difficult to just lay there and allow me to rub them for more than a few minutes, like they fear they should be doing something else and if they don’t hop to it, something bad is going to happen. Being an underdog is fine for a while but sooner or later you’re going to have to make the conscious choice to stop caring how other see you and worrying about all the things that can hurt you and just step up and take back control of your life.

The thing about a label like underdog is that it can go in two very different directions: You could just sit there feeling sorry for yourself and throw your hands up while saying that the world is against you so why should you even bother trying or that label could inspire you to prove every one wrong. Maybe that’s what P!nk’s been referring to: her inspiration to be better than anyone ever told her she could be… In that case I hope a few more people tell her there are things she’ll never be able to do, because if she’s inspired then through her amazing courage we might all find a bit more inspiration too.

It’s up to us to make the best out of life because nothing’s just going to fall into our laps. A little inspiration and a fighting spirit can turn any underdog into a champion.

 Just a thought,

AM

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