I basically schedule my life around my dog. But see she is not just a dog; for me she is one of my children. She sleeps in my bed every night ( just like my son) I don't think twice about microwaving her food, wiping her bottom, cleaning her goopy eyes and honestly just tending to her the way I do my two-legged human kids.
Is this too much information? Do I sound like a crazy dog lady- you know, kind of like that cartoon cat lady from the Simpsons-the one who is dressed in rags- and is throwing cats off her head, as they crawl up her body? Well I'm fine with that actually. And I've already informed my husband and kids that once my kids are out of the house I am turning it into a haven for animals that need homes (of course my husband is still warming to the idea!)
So to make a long story short yesterday I get home to an empty house and my sweet little companion my Shih Tzu Mellie, who normally jumps off her perch on the couch to greet me. Well today there was no tail wagging, or for that matter, much movement. I went over to the couch and found her entire little nine and half pound body shaking violently. I panicked, I started to cry, my mind raced with a million what ifs. I tried to call my husband who OF COURSE has his cell phone which is never turned on and left frantic messages. The vet was already closed for the day.
I thought, throughout the course of the night, Mellie would get better- my husband joked that she was still in shock over my having left her for the day- and she was just giving me a guilty cold shoulder- but like one of my kids- I know when something is not right with her. I can sense it and feel it. So we sat outside the vet in our car with a very shivery dog, who at this point could not really move her body, the next morning at 8 am until they opened their doors. Apparently our 13 year old girl must have slipped a disc in her back, and thank GD for the doctor who gave her a pain killer- which within five minutes- had her back to her old yeller, barking self; wagging her tail- eating food and royally walking around with her very high class gait! Like she's some kind of Tibetan princess or something! And I have her back– my first girl- my first baby. And we'll be giving her oral painkillers for a week and carrying her everywhere trying to minimize her movement (and I'm calling her the Jiggy of Staten Island).
I know what you're thinking– because some where in the back of my mind , a place I won't allow myself to go, I'm thinking it too- how many more years will I have her here with me- how many more illnesses and can we weather. I don't know the answer to this- but all I do know is that I have her right here and right now. And more than anything she is teaching me one of life's greatest lessons; to live in the present because really that's all any of us has anyhow.