Derailed

May 8, 2008

Today didn’t go as planned.  Instead of slamming back a cup of coffee and heading to campus, I was cross-legged on the floor, cradling my dog’s head in my lap and persuading my vet to make a house-call. There isn’t any definitive answer for what’s wrong.  There are a few possibilities, which is better than the hours of uncertainty this morning in which my imagination threw out increasingly awful scenarios.  Such is the condition of adopted pets – they have a largely unknown history and panic prompts me to fill in the blanks with the direst outcomes, especially when all my speechless dog can do is look at me through big brown eyes that are glassy with pain.  Yet even as she tried to keep herself from moving, she wagged her tail each time I ran my hand across her head; that gesture, more than her intermittent screams of pain, made me cry.  Her tail wagged harder at that, each of us desperate to reassure the other that they were okay.  My little trouper – she breaks my heart.
The adrenaline has drained and I’m exhausted, still on alert, parsing every sound she makes, and I know my sleep will be fitful.  She is mightily drugged and sprawled on the bed; I get up every few minutes to check anyway.

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