River of Thoughts

Christine Royse Niles — Changing the world one word at a time

Dog Vomit, Revisited

As a dog returns to its vomit…..

….so a fool repeats his folly.

I saw this verse on Twitter recently (Prov 26:11 for those who are playing along at home).

At first, I laughed. Because, well, vomit is kinda funny. Unless it’s on your frisee rug. Or under the dinner table. Both places where we’ve experienced the special awesomeness of dog vomit in the last month, by the way.

Then comes the image of the dog actually coming back to it. We’ve all seen that. The idea that a dog’s mouth is the cleanest place? Not buying that. I’ve seen what my dog puts in his mouth.

And there’s the inevitability of it. The dog just plain can’t help himself. He *can’t* stay away from that tempting pile of goodness. And that, my friends, is the point. We know it’s not goodness. It’s puke. Maybe it used to be yummy super-premium dog food. But not anymore.

Now, it’s nasty. It’s the stuff that makes other people need to puke when they see it. Or smell it. But the dog comes back to it anyway. And tries to eat it.

And that’s what Solomon is trying to tell us about us, too. AS a dog returns…SO a fool repeats his folly. Let me repeat that last bit. So a fool repeats his folly.

Now, I don’t think i’m a fool. So this must not apply to me, right? But you know what? Merriam-Webster defines folly as “lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight.” I’ve displayed plenty of that.

I keep doing things that aren’t good for me (or anyone else for that matter). I do the same things over and over, expecting different results. I cling to approaches and situations that would be best cleaned up, tossed in the garbage and hauled away.

I have vomit in my life. Less than I had 20 years ago, sure. But it’s there. And it’s time for me to clean it up.

What is your vomit? Leave a comment…

This is a repost from about this time last year. Many of you weren’t around then, so I thought I’d “bring it back up” for you.

You’re welcome.

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About Christine

I am a writer, a project manager, and a corporate refugee with a heart for orphans around the world. My two daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14. I post about writing, chasing dreams, and making a difference in the world, and sometimes I share fun snippets of fiction in-progress.

10 Replies

  1. Dean Hill

    Thanks for the repost. Great message.

    So… since the original post was a year ago, we have to assume you’ve removed a lot of ‘life vomit’ in that time. Right? 😉

    1. Christine

      Heh…I’ve cleaned some up, but the dog eats a lot of grass. This is a reminder to me as much as wanting to share it with everyone else!

  2. Totally LOLed at the “‘bring it back up’ for you” line!

    But, oh how true this post is! They say the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. According to that definition, there are many areas of my life where I would have to declare myself insane. It’s sad, but true.

    Maybe a re-examination of some areas of my life is in order.

    1. Christine

      So glad someone got that! Mark is the punster in the family, but I’m practicing!

      I qualify for your insanity definition.

  3. Well I’m glad you revisited the dog vomit because I wasn’t around last year and lately I’ve been talking to a lot of fools about their folly. Oh I’m not talking about myself, you see. I’m not the fool – even though I know that what irks me in others is what I need to work on myself – but we won’t talk about that (because it fill 10+ posts.
    Thanks for this though. I needed to be reminded.
    ~ Felecia
    PS: Poor dogs – what a bad rap they get. Returning to vomit, rollin’ around in poopy places, and lickin’ their … well you know.

    1. Christine

      Felecia, thanks for your masterful projection! It’s so easy to recognize it in others and so so hard to see it in ourselves isn’t it. And about dogs…exactly.

  4. this made me laugh, considering our dog had a vomit episode yesterday morning. but i can whole-heartedly relate to returning to follies. it is so difficult to break the cycle of making a mess in our lives. the past few months have been an amazing step forward for me, but i know i am not perfect and still fall back into folly. as paul wrote, “the things i do i don’t do and the things i don’t want to do i do.” i think that’s right…

    1. Christine

      Sounds like a great week for you, Tim! Totally relating to that stepping forward and back all at once thing this week for me.

  5. I love this post, Christine. And like Felicia, I could reply with a “guest post” worth of commenting. I already did that once, so I’ll keep it short.

    I’m trying to stay away from the vomit, and unlike the notion that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, the more time spend away from a stupid thing in our lives, the more we forget. Or think, “It wasn’t really THAT bad.” So we repeat. And then we remember why. To summarize: Family issues is my vomit. (“Are” my vomit? Okay, so grammatical errors are also my vomit.)

    1. Christine

      Your unsolicited guest posts are always welcome, my friend! Family is a strange mixture of candy and salad and vomit. Sometimes sweet, sometimes good for us, and sometimes, well, just nasty. :)

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