First time I’ve written a post with tears in my eyes.
Me out of all people. A calm, cool, responsible adult during an economic depression. A vegetarian who dislikes animals.
Except he’s not an animal. He’s family. The most simple guileless, loving soul I’ve encountered in my life. Referred to as “the third child” – jokingly – to hide the sentiment’s truth.
He came into our lives from a miserable situation. We are the only family he’s ever had. Over the first few months, I saw him discover trust, safety and love for the first time.
He’s large for his breed. Glides about with the grace of a shark. He speaks inarguable timeless truths with a swivel of those eyes. It’s caused me many realisations about life beyond any book, philosophy, or sermon ever has.
I suppose this change is another set of realisations.
It was a strange incident.
He was happily sniffing around in the grass. Then something stung him. He leapt back and crashed into the shin of the person next to him. The human was fine. But the dog was not. Before long, the ordinarily happy animal was crying in pain. Then he couldn’t move and gasping for breath, tongue turning purple.
We rushed him from one vet to another. Waited anxiously for hours in a small stuffy room for a prognosis. It’s not a snake bite. The injury is to a disk in his back. He doesn’t need surgery, but the recovery will take time.
He’s stable now. Stunned, miserable, scared and immobile for now.
He doesn’t understand what’s going on. There’s nothing I can do to reassure him.
It breaks my heart to see him like this.
He’s known suffering. I thought we could give him some happiness. He’s given us joy in innumerable ways even while the outside world was going to pieces.
What’s making me cry right now is that he’s scared, and I’m helpless to change that.
Yes, yes, a simplistic egocentric emotional response. So I’ve kept the emotional part well hidden. The Buddhism help put it all into perspective. But have to get the emotional out. Hence this snivelling word pile. If I’d meditated enough this might have been easier.
I’m shocked you have read this far. Thank you for doing so.
Feature image source (Greek terracotta statue dog).