Dogs reflect the owner’s personality, character, and often even one’s appearance. Whether by intuition or by sheer chance, the choice which the master makes in the selection of a dog is more revealing about the former than the latter. On the other hand, just as in marriage, where a man and a woman begin to think, act and live alike, perhaps it is merely that the master and the dog begin to assume the personalities, traits and characteristics of one another, over a period of time. Certainly, there are instances where mismatches occur — as in an older couple rescuing a large dog out of sympathy, but who have neither the physical strength nor the means to manage its care. Sometimes, the mismatch is merely apparent; what one finds is that the adoption of a particular breed of dog is “just what the doctor ordered”.
In making a decision about preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the initial reaction is simply one of doubt, hesitation and foreboding; for, throughout one’s life, one is taught to advance in one’s career, to “give it one’s all”, and that the Protestant Work Ethic is the essence of meaning which drives one forward from birth until death. Circumstances dictate one’s life more than one would like to admit; the vicissitudes of life’s unexpected gifts and challenges require an acceptance without doubt or question. Medical issues will often mandate a change; and while one may be reluctant to change a career, admit to a medical condition which requires a different pace of life, the acceptance of such a change will often prove to be a blessing. Fear is often both a motivator, as well as the obstacle to change.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, is indeed a change which is hard to accept for the Federal or Postal employee; but like adopting a dog which appears to be a mismatch to one’s personality, character, and style of living, it may prove to be the prescription which is necessary. The real difference is that filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits will reduce the financial resources one receives; adopting a dog merely increases that which is essential to man’s happiness: unconditional love, provided in the form of a slobbering canine tongue first thing each morning.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire