Our perceptions or assumptions can be a great help, a hindrance or a conundrum. I have a friend who calls perceptions snapshots, a picture if you will, of something that sticks with us that we hold on to; good, bad or indifferent. Sometimes, if we don’t take the time to look a little deeper, we can develop a very mistaken point of view.

Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit

A few years back, my husband and I were out to dinner with another couple, friends of ours. My husband’s friend was the head of animal control for a very large county and always had some interesting stories to tell. This night the couple happened to be a bit late. When they arrived they were both laughing and said “Boy, do we have a story for you”.

Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit, findingourwaynow.comOur friend had employees who were friends with a couple who owned a dog. The couple’s dog liked to jump the fence of the neighbor next door and try to play with the neighbor’s big white pet rabbit who was often in the neighbor’s backyard. The dog never hurt the rabbit. He just wanted to play. The couple’s dog would race around and just wag his tail at the rabbit. Even still, this was obviously a problem for both couples, but somehow they were able to coexist. The two couples and neighbors never got to know each except for the occasional fence jumping and separating of the two pets. This went on for a few years.

The couple with the dog had come home late one night and let the dog out to play in the back yard. They were tired and paid little attention to their dog’s activities. They heard the dog frantically barking and growling and went to see what was going on. In their dog’s mouth was the white rabbit. The rabbit wasn’t moving; he was really dirty and the rough for wear and tear. They were horrified and panicked. OH MY GOODNESS, our dog has killed our neighbor’s pet rabbit.

Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit, findingourwaynow.comThe couple removed the rabbit from their dog’s mouth, put it in a box and stared it. Their dog just whimpered and was acting very strangely. The couple asked; “What should we do?” They talked for a long time wringing their hands, feeling terrible about the rabbit. The big question was what WERE they going to tell their neighbors.

In the meantime, they had noticed that their neighbors weren’t home, and it appeared that they hadn’t been when their dog had jumped the fence. The couple came up with an idea. They talked about it for a minute, deciding what they would do.

Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit, findingourwaynow.comThe couple washed the rabbit, blew-dried his fur, combed and fluffed him up to make him look like he was still alive. It was a masterpiece. Leaving their dog in the house, they snuck over to the absent neighbors backyard and carefully place the cleaned up, fluffed up rabbit in a place he would usually play. Then they snuck back to their house and waited…, and they wait… for what must have seemed like a terribly long time. Then they heard the other neighbors arrive…, and they listened. Nothing happened. So they went about the evening but kept an ear open for any noise just in case they heard something.

Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit, findingourwaynow.comThen it happened. The woman neighbor started screaming. She was obviously very distraught… DUH. The couple stared at each other and decided they needed to go ASK “Whatever was wrong.” Leaving their nervous and agitated dog in the house, they went out to their adjoining fence, peered over they saw their neighbors staring at the fluffed up dead rabbit. Their neighbors were frozen in place not moving towards their pet. They were just staring at it. Then the couple asked in the most casual voice they could muster; “What’s wrong?.” The woman neighbor stared at them for a bit and said. “He came.” The couple with the dog looked at each other, and then the dead rabbit and asked; “What do you mean?.” The neighbors explained; “What we meant was our rabbit passed away yesterday and we buried him near his favorite spot. When we came home, there he was…. ,” pointing to the fluffy dead rabbit. All the couple with the dog could say was “Oh.” The neighbor’s husband then moved towards their deceased fluffy dead rabbit. He realized the rabbit was still dead. He looked upset AND very confused.

That was when the couple with the dog noticed the hole in their neighbor’s garden. The couple stared at each other then gave their neighbors their condolences in the most sincerest fashion possible. They turned and went back to their house, closed the door, stared at each other again and then busted out laughing.

We later learned the couple had surmised that their dog had jumped the fence found the grave of his rabbit friend and dug him up. The dog was upset that the rabbit wasn’t moving and brought him to them for help, which explained his strange behavior. The couple never did tell their neighbors what they had done, how could they. They just keep it their private secret. The rabbit was reburied in a different place. A new fence was put in place of the old one; a higher fence this time so that the dog couldn’t find himself over in their neighbors yard.

Sometimes it pays to “dig” a little deeper before we make a snap judgment or assumption, doesn’t it?

Have you ever taken a snapshot of a situation, made an assumption or developed a perception that later surprised you with a very different point of view? I would love to hear your story.

Life’s journey continues…

If you enjoyed “Assumption, A Dog and A Rabbit,” check out Perceptions and ChickenpoxChildhood Perception and No One Was Watching.

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  • HB

    This story is just too funny. I laughed so hard I teared up. I can’t believe they actually did that. Thanks for starting my week off with a good laugh.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      LOL… It was funny at the friend our told us the story. I still laugh when I think about it. I’m glad it made for a fun day/week

  • Johnny @ Financial Freedom

    Yes! I have made a snap judgement and many of them for that matter. I recently had one made against ad it felt horrible. Great story with numerous applications.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Johnny, I agree, there are many lessons in this story. Sometimes we just rush in without thinking and then suffer the consequences later. :-)

  • Gina

    Love that story. I think people are not telling the whole truth if they say they do not take snapshots of people. That being said, I try not to. Even when drivers around me are being rude, I try to pretend that they are on their way to the hospital or something. Have a good day!

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Gina, What a great example. I will try to do the same thing. Who knows, they may have much bigger problems then we do… LOL

  • Lubna

    Oh my god. I wonder what would have happened if they had scouted around for a live rabbit looking just like the one that their neighbours lost and placed a real live hopping rabbit on their neighbours lawn. That would have been a miracle – dead rabbit comes back to life. 8-)
    Yes, this did have a serious message. Aren’t we all guilty of making rapid fire judgements about people as well and not just about situations? For instance, the amount of lawyer jokes that abound make it seem that they are all bad apples.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      That would have given that poor couple a heart attack.. At least It would have me… LOL.

      It’s a funny story but the lesson is just as you said. It’s important the take a moment before you snap to a certain course of acton or conclusion. :-)

  • Patricia Weber

    Oh that POOR dog! I always pay attention as best I can to our dog. She has such wisdom.

    I think my husband and I often get to our own conclusion about couples we hang out with. For example, this weekend we were at a wedding celebration where we EXPECTED to see this certain couple. After all, all six of us have been together for dinner several times, so why weren’t they there? We decided not to ask the no-show couple about it in the event, heaven forbid, they weren’t invited! Well, at my husband’s favorite haunt the next day, our friend (call him Robert) said he couldn’t wait to attend this wedding. My husband, surprisedly asked, what are you saying? Robert told him they were really looking forward to seeing a couple who had lived together for 10 years get married. That’s when my husband had to tell him. Turns out, Robert had it on his calendar for the wrong date!

    I wonder if a dog can sniff out events like weddings and let you know by some sort of paw movement in the dirt when it is??!!

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      I agree…. poor dog. :(

      That is a GREAT story. Haven’t we all done that at times? There are some people I know who could definitely use an event sniffing dog… LOL. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/geekgirlusa Cheryl Therrien

    OMG! This is a great story to illustrate how we can all make assumptions and be VERY wrong about them. I think I feel very badly for the poor dog. He lost his playmate. I wonder if anyone showed him any sympathy…

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks, I agree, It was truly funny to her our friend tell it.

      From what I understood, he (the dog) was definitely upset and it took a few days before he would not go over the fence and whimper… poor baby. The rabbit couple did get another rabbit but it just wasn’t the same. :-)

  • http://joannerambling.wordpress.com/ Jo-Anne

    Bloody hell this was funny I have tears running down my face from laughing so much………….

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      It was really funny listening to it. We just didn’t expect the outcome. Just goes to show, not to jump to any conclusions, doesn’t it. LOL

  • Susan Oakes

    Excellent story Susan and illustrates the point about assuming so well. I wonder if the neighbours ever thought about how it came back to being fluffy again or put it down to one of life’s little mysteries.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      I never heard. I can only imagine what must have gone through their minds after they had time to think about the whole experience. It certainly would make you pause if you were in their shoes. One thing is for sure, they had a story of their own to tell. :)

  • http://twitter.com/TakeChargeBecc Rebecca Thompson

    Oh, poor doggy :( Fun story Susan :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Rebecca, I agree and thank you. :-)

  • http://biz.leoraw.com/about/ Leora Wenger

    I am impressed on how attached the dog was to the poor rabbit. I see people making snap judgements all the time – I usually read and read and read (when it is regarding a news story) before I get a better picture of what is going on.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      He really was. You can never asume that it another way, can you? You’re right. If we would only take a little more time to read or investigate, we could save ourselves a huge amount of time and misunderstandings . :-)

  • http://www.bindu.ca/ Bindhurani

    OMG!!! What a story!!!You are a great story teller.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Bindu, Thank you so much for your very kind words. :-D

  • Claire Cappetta

    Great story! Poor bunny RIP … I guess it beats getting boiled by a crazy lady! :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Claire. I understand from our friend that he was very old for a bunny. You got that… LOL

  • John Barton

    Hi Susan Having read your great blog I can not resist telling you my story when our daughter’s dog “WhiskY” went on a chocolate marathon! It was a couple of years’ ago when we left the dog at our place and went out to dinner around Christmas time. When we got back the hall was in an uproar with two large boxes of “healthy chocolate” torn apart and no chocolate to be seen anywhere! Well as we are know this is probably not a good diet for a dog! So around 11.30pm we rushed him up to the local vets (on call all night) and cutting a long story short they were able to sort him out and charged us £120 (say $150). We were in charge of the dog as our daughter was away so we did what had to be done.
    Anyway the family had a Christmas dinner at a local restaurant the following week and my daughter and her husband had set up the Christmas Tree and presents around the tree at their home. It never occurred to us to ask them about the presents – yes you’re right! There were two large boxes of chocolate and “doggie” presents wrapped up and he ate the lot! The lounge looked as though a burglary had taken place! – absolute mayhem! Yep, once again up to the vets even later this time around 1.00am and of course Whisky recognised the vets and it was a struggle to get him into the clinic! He was pumped out once again and very ill. He looked absolutely “fed up” (is that the right phrase!) – we got him home and he slept the whole day through. Anyway it did him no long term damage only to our daughter who had to pay out another £120!
    Whisky is now nearly seven years old and we love him to bits – a small price to pay! Cheers John Barton


    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi John, What a GREAT story. Who knew, right? That poor dog probably never looked at the vet with anything but a suspicious eye. The best part is he was ok and has lived a very happy life since.

  • http://twitter.com/MsMcMadness Debbie

    Oh this is FUNNY. I have been guilty of snap judgments before but thankfully it didn’t involve bathing someones dead rabbit. LOL

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Debbie, Haven’t we all at times… LOL. It was just too good a story to not share, don’t you think?

  • http://twitter.com/SarahSimplyMe Sarah

    I laughed out loud when she said “He came back!” My husband wanted to know why. lol I’ll read this to him later when the kids are asleep. hehe :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Sarah, I remember clearly hearing the story for the first time. My husband and I laughed so hard, tears ran down our faces. It’s still a funny story and one that cried out to be shared… LOL.

      I would love to know your husband’s reaction after you read it to him. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bethany.lee.77 Bethany Lee

    Oh yeah, this is a hoot!

    I for one, am with those who felt sorry for the dog. The poor thing just missed his playmate!

    On the other hand, I have often wondered what I would do if one of my dogs ever jumped the fence and killed a cat or dog. I so want a tall fence!
    And yes, this is a good lesson here.

    I’m trying to think of when I’ve made a snap judgement to share with you, but I can’t think of one.
    Thanks for the hangout tonight!!

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks, I felt sorry for both. But from what I understand the rabbit was very old for rabbits so it was his time. The poor dog didn’t know that though and wanted to help his friend.

      To me, the funniest part of this was the fur kids had more since then their parents. HAHA. But it did lead to a very funny story. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/YLTL Dan Meyers

    Hilarious! I’ve read books before that talk about how we’re hard-wired to make snap judgements just because we have so many little decisions to make every day. If we had to decide on every little one, we’d never make it out of the house!

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Dan, I knew you would enjoy this story. I agree with that. When you think about all the decisions we make on a daily basis, it’s amazing that we don’t make more mistakes then we do… LOL

  • Nicole Vander Meulen

    Perceptions can paint a fuzzy picture. First impressions are the same. It’s unnatural to go against a first impression, but I find that most times, the first impression I have a of a person is a blurred snapshot of his or her whole being. Who they seemed to be is not who they are at all…it just takes a little digging to figure that out. nvm-BHB

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      In this case, it was a very fuzzy picture indeed… Big LOL.

  • http://profiles.google.com/margaretduarte Margaret Duarte

    I love the way you teach a lesson with a story. Kind of like a parable. Nice job, Susan.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Margaret, Thank you. What a very nice thing to say… I do so love writing and illustrating them. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/JeriWB Jeri Walker-Bickett

    What a good laugh this gave me as I head off to bed and what a perfect story to illustrate the point.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jeri, I am so glad I was able to bright the end of you day with a good laugh. The story and the lesson were fun to write and illustrate… :-)

  • Lanre

    This was a pretty funny story Susan! It’s actually the dog I pity- now he doesn’t have a playmate anymore.
    Yes, I’ve made my own share of assumptions too.I do remember one occasion where my dog had just given birth to 6 puppies and out of those six, one just lay down, looking lifeless. I actually thought it was dead and decided to show it to a friend. Before I took a few steps, the so-called dead puppy just turned it head and stared straight at me!
    I was happy and scared at the same time. It ended up becoming my best pet ever! Crazy huh?
    By the way, Ilove your pictures.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Lanre, Thank is a pretty cool story. That puppy just knew you were the one. You just needed reminding…LOL

  • http://twitter.com/mamasmiles maryanne

    That poor dog. I think it’s so easy to jump to false conclusions like this.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      I agree, poor baby. He was trying to tell them, but they weren’t paying any attention… LOL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wendymerron Wendy Merron

    Susan, you are truly a great writer. You painted this story so well! I’m still chuckling as I can almost imagine the look on the neighbors faces (though it must have been scary at the time!)
    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Wendy, Your words humble me. I try to tell a good story that says more then just to entertain. That was how I taught my students and my direct reports. Now I’m putting them to use with/in my blog.

      When I first heard this I had the same reaction… and I laughed. Then I said EWHHH!!! … LOL

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  • JustOneBoomer

    I’m putting a link to this on a FB group to which I belong and on my personal page. Great allegory.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan Cooper

      Oh, WOW. I am thrilled and so honored that you liked it that much Suzanne. :-)

  • Paul Graham

    Give a dog a bad name ? Great story, well told and perfect illustrations.

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan P. Cooper

      Will do Paul, and thanks so much!!! :-)

  • http://flattiresandslowboats.com/aboutme/ Tim

    I don’t know if I should laugh as I know I will then feel guilty. Can’t help thinking the rabbit owning folks would probably have liked the truth; maybe not. They now have a miracle story to tell. One that definitely had me hanging on every word and a great way to start my morning. It reminds me of the site that shows all the different unusual animal friendships. Elephant and dog, hippo and turtle, parrot and cat, etc

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan P. Cooper

      LOL, I know what you mean time. I’m not sure if I would have told the truth or not. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. I have seen the show that talk about that it’s pretty cool. :-)

  • http://www.tuhinzdiary.com/ Tuhin Deshamukhya

    Funny indeed! haha..The pictures caught my attention. I guess you did those by yourself. Can you please let me know what are the minimum tools required to create cartoons like these? any software, website etc?

    • http://findingourwaynow.flywheelsites.com/ Susan P. Cooper

      I’m glad you enjoyed my story and illustration Tuhin. :-))) I use a vector drawing program for Mac called iDraw. You might want to check out my “How I Draw On My iPad” series under the Art tab for more how to’s. :-)