Monday, June 16, 2008

More Precious Than Breath

Sally, a woman I work with, has had a difficult time with Joey, her Pomeranian, the last few weeks and what seemed relatively minor only a few days ago has left him on the verge of the death this afternoon, with his family considering euthanasia. Luckily his doctor doesn't think they've quite reached that point and so Joey's troops are rallying to his side, praying and sending all their good thoughts in his direction. Sally was obviously quite emotional about his condition for most of the day and even though we tried to offer what little we could in the way of sympathy and consolation, it was not enough. We could only watch her and reach out our arms to offer hugs and strength. Sally spent much of the day crying and in sitting with her and listening to her talk through her fear and grief, several members of the staff, myself included, were moved to tears as well.

Duncan was very much on my mind all day and I could not think of much else aside from coming home, taking him outside where he could lead the way and then finally, at the end of our walk, under the shade of the big cottonwoods, wrap my arms around him and kiss his precious red head. Duncan was quite lucky to have made it through The Great Yarn Crisis of 2006 as well as he did, but I can still recall how weak he was and the pitiful little whimpers he made as he laid on his belly in front of the fireplace, wrapped in one of my t-shirts and a blanket. Seeing him in that condition and being unable to explain to him what was happening or how I was trying to help heal him was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. But the not-knowing was even worse. I can not imagine how frightened Sally is at the prospect of losing her boy, the one who only ten days ago was the picture of good health.

And so we walked, Duncan and I, and I watched his back as he pulled against the leash. I watched his shadow prance along beside him, lifting its leg and stopping to scratch behind its ear right along with him. I watched him watch the kids play kickball, his ears high and his body tense as he prepared to dive right into the game with them. I have said it before and I will say it many more times for the rest of my life, but I am blessed to have shared these three years with him at my side. He has been the most devoted of companions, tireless in his loyalty and love for me and I can not thank the universe enough for his presence in my life. If it were a choice between Duncan and the smell of Russian Olives, or the sight of the blossoms in the trees each Spring, or the magic of Christmas, I would forsake them all for the love of my best, bestest friend.

He is more precious to me than breath.

6 comments:

Duncan's Internet Friend said...

Okay. I just randomly clicked on one of your "cherries". HILARIOUS. Where oh where do you find these things? (Statement really, not a question.)
If I blogged, I'd have one just like yours! Excellent.

Greg said...

Aww, you made me cry a little. Kisses to your red boy and best wishes to Sally.

caboval said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel! You made me cry! Now I have a lump in my throat but Im gonna give Joey some extra hugs and kisses and I am sending out hugs and kisses to Duncan and Sally! You too!

CJ said...

Look at you and your boy! Best to you and your friend Sally.
It is so tough on us sometimes because of our companions inability to communicate. My lab was hanging her head for a couple of days not giving me kisses and moaning when she would lay down or jump off the sofa. She would eat but less enthusiasticly. Now she's better but I was going nuts.

Curt Rogers said...

Thanks for all your kind comments. I have passed along your well-wishes to Sally, who was moved to tears. Although his vitals are stabile and look good, Joey is not out of the woods yet. He's still vomiting and no one knows what's wrong. They've run some cultures on his stomach and hope to have the results in a day or two. Keep thinking those good thoughts and hopefully things will turn out well for the l'il guy. In the mean time, go give your own companions extra love!

Charlie said...

Well said, Curt. Our thoughts are with Sally & Joey. You're a good friend to be there for her.