Over the weekend the realization that I live with a mortal soul became a cold hard reality and I’m not sure how to process it. In his usual greeting exuberance from returning from an evening outing, Sam pogo-sticked his way out the door and raced down the driveway in circles, turned on a dime and tweaked his front leg. Badly. The blood-curdling yelping rocked me to my core. I’ve never heard that noise coming from him and it was quite unnerving. Sam wouldn’t put much weight on his front leg and given his other body language, we knew something was definitely wrong. After a few minutes of realizing my sweet goofball boy was injured, we gathered him up and took him to the after hours critical care center I’ve used when our regular vet office is closed.
The vet diagnosed a ‘soft-tissue’ injury, a ubiquitous term used for many injuries. They examined him and recommended pain meds and full R&R while this injury heals. Like I’ve done myself a jillion times, it appeared that Sam suffered a bad sprain (I have weak ankles and am kind of accident prone, Sam is just overly exuberant even in his senior years). They sent us home with pain meds and a recommendation to visit our vet in a couple of days for follow-up. Since Sam is getting his teeth cleaned on Tuesday it makes perfect sense. In the meantime, my heart and mind are filled with confusion, dread and all sorts of exaggerated scenarios that are not in the usual happy-spot realm that this lovable mutt usually engenders.
It’s a hard realization when you must face the notion of mortality of our companion pets. Even though intellectually I can wrap my head around his recovery and to a lesser degree, even a life where he won’t be bouncing around, my heart refuses to accept that notion today. As a bona-fide senior pooch I know recovery will take some time though he seems much improved as of this morning. A troubling comment from the vet was, “there’s a little arthritis I can feel in his front paws” which prompted past scenes of other companion pets aging less than gracefully. I’m just not ready for that right now; I’m used to the happy-go-lucky, bouncy boy who provides smiles to everyone he encounters. The weekend showed a pup clearly hurting and who gave me the “Mom, I hurt” look which absolutely broke my heart. We only want our pups to be pain-free and live forever or at least as close to that as possible, so when we see them experience something less, it clearly pains us.
Will Sam be ok, of that I have no doubt. He’s in otherwise good health. Will it take a while? Probably, but the hard part of course will be keeping him calm and rested as he heals. That will take a few days and definitely some creativity on my part-he doesn’t quite understand why he can’t be off leash in the yard and why we cant go on our normal long walks right now while he recovers. The truly hard part will be realizing my sweet prince is
among other things a mere mortal. Not sure there’s a prescription that deals with that.
Live, love, bark! <3