Greg Litherland mug

While it may be true big boys don’t cry, sometimes big boys suffer from ocular humidity.

Ocular humidity (for the purposes of this article) is an affliction that remains dormant in males but occasionally manifests itself into a condition that often is mistaken for crying. Ocular humidity is accompanied by redness of the eyes, occasional sniffles, loss of appetite, and pressure on the diaphragm that makes speech difficult.

I recently became aware of ocular humidity when I was conducting an Internet search to determine what was wrong with me as I experienced symptoms that confounded me: initially I thought I was crying.

But, big boys don’t cry.

The symptoms presented themselves recently when I had made a humane decision to euthanize my two Labrador retrievers; they would have been 13 on Halloween.

All pet owners know from the day they pick up their pet that the pet likely will not outlive the owner.

That was the case for Lobo and Kramer. Lobo was a chocolate lab who would fetch and return a ball all day, if a person were inclined to try to wear out the dog.

Kramer was a black lab, even though retrieving was not part of his DNA. I remember trying to teach him to fetch. I threw a tennis ball and encouraged him to retrieve it. He had no interest. In fact, his look seemed to be one that said, “Look, pal: you had the ball in your hand. If you wanted it, you shouldn’t have thrown it. But, since you threw it, if you want it back, go get it: don’t try to drag me into your twisted world.”

That look, and both dogs’ aversion to water, made me want to have testing conducted to see if they really were labs.

Ultimately, I think they were labs. They were loyal and they wanted to eat all of the time.

They didn’t like walks, except when they were puppies, because they were rewarded often with treats. They were lovable and many would stop me during a walk so they could pet the dogs and give them treats I carried with me.

One stop particularly was perplexing and embarrassing.

Lobo, Kramer and I were approaching the entrance of the Eastside Park when three females (I’m guessing 16 – 18 years old) stopped me and asked if they could pet the dogs.

“Sure”, I said “I even have some bits you can give them as treats.”

The girls were excited, until I knelt beside the dogs to hold the dogs in place.

Immediately, one of the girls grabbed an arm of the other two and said, “We have to go…RIGHT NOW!”

The other two protested for a few seconds, but later looked at me and said, “Oh yeah, we need to go NOW!”

Yes, that was perplexing.

The embarrassing part was realized a few minutes later while on the walk. A breeze blew and I knew in an instant why the girls left so abruptly: my pants were unzipped.

Despite that incident, Lobo and Kramer remained loyal to me.

Their loyalty is why it was so difficult to follow through with my humane decision.

On that fateful day I suffered from severe ocular humidity.

It was a tough morning, but I knew what was best for them. I put them into their harnesses and prepared to load them into my truck bed.

Kramer decided to do his business seconds before I was to lift him into my vehicle to take them to the veterinarian for their last time.

Ocular humidity hit me on the drive to and from the clinic.

I walked across the driveway when I returned home; the ocular humidity was so intense I didn’t watch my step and wound up stepping in the mess left by Kramer.

I wanted to be angry, but ocular humidity took over.

I wasn’t crying because big boys don’t cry.

React to this story:


Recommended for you