“If you go slowly enough, six or seven months is an eternity—if you let it be—if you forget old things, and learn new ones. Even a week can last forever.”
Rick Bass, Winter

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 62: The Afternoon Constitutional

It warmed up yesterday and a lot of the ice melted off the sidewalks, which made it easier for Zoe and me to set forth on our usual afternoon walk.

It was the third day after chemo, and she refused to eat.  This happened once before, and then the next day she ate like a farm hand, so I am trying not to worry too much.  I just met a man whose dog is sixteen and a half.  A year ago she refused to eat for ten days.  The vet was talking about the end being near, but the man would not listen to doomsday speak.  He believed his dog would recover.  He fed her every day from a syringe--pureed cottage cheese and "something orange"--he couldn't remember if it was carrots or yams--and baby food, but the baby food was not a hit.  He had to help her drink water with the syringe too.  At the end of the ten days, she was better.  She just needed a new kind of medication--it turned out she had an ulcer, not cancer, as the vet had warned--and she soon gained back the weight and her strength.  He wouldn't give up on his dog, and he is convinced that the dog just felt his love for her and knew that she had more time.

No matter how Zoe feels, even the day after she lost her leg, she has always wanted her walk.  Today was no exception.  It was so comforting to witness and share her enthusiasm, to watch her stop to smell everything as we made our way down the street, with both of us stopping to peer at each other every now and then.  I wanted to take a picture of every doggy grin.

We crossed the bridge and scampered out to where ice met brown leaves to watch the water rushing back.  The sun was so bright.  And then we made our way up the path and across the second bridge, where we paused for a moment to watch the river rush toward us.

There is something so soothing, so lovely, and so rich about doing the same thing day after day.  Every day the light is different, the river is another blue or gray, the snow and ice have different consistencies, and Zoe and I find something else to notice.  Today it was the various shades of white and gray and the brown where we could see earth and fallen leaves again beneath the winter cover.  And the sunshine making her squint when she posed for me.

And before we reached the halfway point she was nudging my hand with her snout, hoping to be fed a treat.

Oh, the glare!  The glare!

1 comment:

  1. thank g. for sun! Reminds me of walks by the Mill River near Smith. Cold and bright. The consistency of landscape. So nice to see you enjoying it together.