Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not the post I expected to write today

And so begins one of those rare posts where what I intended to write about gets shelved in favor of talking about something more important.

I was, and probably still will in the future, going to speak about grammar, equitation and the importance of thank you notes. I rode three different horses today jogging on the roads around the farm and the simple cacophony of the horses hooves on the pavement helped me to think it all out and round out what I wanted to say, discuss and send as the message to the people of the blogosphere. However, when I arrived home real life and its uncertainties showed up before I had started typing.

I was laying on the couch getting my laptop booted up, when my older big dog, “Scarecrow,” suddenly kind of jumped up, ran to the front of the couch and collapsed suddenly against it. Well fur or no, he’s my baby. I knew something was wrong and like any good parent I put everything down, moved the coffee table and started trying to discern the problem. Was it the snow shovel that had just blown over in the wind on the porch? Did my younger little dog “Taz” do something to spook him? I looked him over, tried to get him to stand and walk three feet to me. That’s when I knew what it was.

He couldn’t walk using his whole body. His right side was in spasm and his head was hanging awkwardly. I stopped him inside of six inches and let him lie back down. “Crow” has had this before, it’s a seizure. The vets can’t tell me much about why he gets them, they say to stay with him and comfort him until it passes, oh and to time the duration. So there I sat on the floor holding my shaking dog telling him it’s all gonna be ok. And every time he has ever had one of these episodes it has been ok. And today was no different.

Inside of two minutes he had calmed, his heart had stopped racing and the only after effects I saw were the usual dry mouth and panting. After giving him enough water to clear the panting I settled him on his favorite chair and brought in the best medicine the vets ever advise to give: ice cream!! Yep sure enough Breyers 100% natural vanilla ice cream gives seizure dogs back the blood sugar they need. Crow looked at me with the bowl of ice cream like we’d both (happily) taken full leave of our senses.

I fed it to him slowly, you know how much those brain freezes could hurt, and he thumped his tail in appreciation. Now “Taz” as a loving ‘sister,’ sat with us ever since the seizure began. To be honest it was as much her reaction to him that brought me to action that much quicker. Even now, some four hours later, she is staying within touching range of him and occasionally will get up and go lick his nose or eyelids before lying back down.

I know tonight I am not coming off as a great blogger. This isn’t a story, it doesn’t have a catchy plot, no outline holds this together, nor do I know what the ending will be. But then that’s life a lot of the time. We can plan over and over what we’re going to do. We can KNOW what’s on the ‘to do’ list cold and yet something, someone, some event will jump in and rearrange it all. And yet like all animals in nature we have learned to adapt. Some of us better than others admittedly, but we all know that life is unpredictable and even the simplest plan to do one thing can be instantly re-prioritized when someone really needs us to help them.

A dear friend of mine just got a new puppy, and as he described their first walk around the area he lives, I just had to sigh. I know that I did all sorts of cool first things with all my dogs. The sheer joy and love in those moments was staggering, but I can’t remember any of it. I said this to him and wished aloud that I had kept a journal for each dog I have had. And as this night’s gone on I realized slowly that maybe it isn’t so much about each and every thing we did, but rather maybe its about the intricate collage of the feelings I get sharing my love for these creatures that don’t care if it’s the first time we go for a walk at the farm, or the 6,543rd time. They know I love them, even if I am scolding them for eating the stuffed animals to shreds for the thousandth time. I know I need them to share my life with and tell stories to. (I actually read “Twas the night before Christmas” to them this past Christmas Eve. Taz was enthralled, Crow, not so much)

There are going to be days where the routine and the plan work. There are going to be days where everything gets run through a high speed shredder and I am clinging onto anything solid so as not to get shredded myself. But then I come home and lay in my queen size bed with two good sized dogs sharing it, my hopes, my dreams, and my ice cream with me. And that’s enough.


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