“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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Part II: Day 46: The Dog's Codependent Pepes

Morning meditation with our girl starts this codependent human on the right track

Yesterday after lunch, my husband and I were romping with Zoe along the riverbed in our back yard, and he said, “We’re both totally codependent on the dog.  We’re happy as clams today because she’s happy as a clam.  Look at her!”

We looked down as Zoe chewed on some tall grass, then tried to balance a stick on her head.  The dog looked up at us and panted happily.  She had that gleam in her eye.

If every day with her is a gift, this one, Thursday, May 31, was like a houseful of presents on one of those birthdays that end with an 0.  Dog's appetite: excellent.  Dog's desire to walk and romp: off the charts.  Dog's vibe: Buddha meets Lassie.

“I don’t know what’s worse,” I said.  “The fact that what you just said is true, or the fact that I’ve influenced you and now you are starting to talk like this.”

We both laughed.  My husband loathes jargon, especially the kind we associate with pop psychology.  But he knows this about himself:  he is always as happy as the least tranquil member of his family.

Why is our Zoe back to her happy place?  What has done the trick?  Has she gotten used to her new drugs?  Is she just happy that she won the victory and we’re giving her mainstream dog food and, for the moment—this is really not forever—no herbals? 

Last week there were a lot of strikes against her.   

For starters, she's dealing with new drugs that no one seems to know much about, not even the pharmaceutical company that makes them.   I know this because I called them when we were trapped in the car on our way through the maybe-tornado.  And I know this because when I talked to Willow and asked whether she has known dogs lose their personalities on the drug, she said that Zoe is only the second dog she’s prescribed it to.  “The other dog . . . It was just a short time,” she said.  Meaning, I presume, that the drug was the last port of call, and the dog died.  So we’re in unknown territory here and no one has any advice.   

Then there were the parasites.  And intense heat.  The rise of barometric pressure before a major storm blew through.  Construction project altering her domain and adding to the noise, which she can’t stand.  Plus we also gave her a dose of Frontline—we were driving into Lyme Disease headquarters—which always makes her squirmy, plus her monthly Heartguard tablet.  Just one of these factors—the heat, in particular—would normally take her off her game.  Then add to that the problem that her people roiled about with anxiety and frayed nerves.

A friend who is going through something very similar with his dog wrote me this message on e-mail:

"Although these days are all rollercoaster days - some we're at the top and some we're at the bottom--my challenge is not letting those days at the bottom consume me.  They tend to be lost days in my life and I wish I could find a better way to handle it. "
Tell me about it, friend!

So now our task is to do whatever we can to replenish ourselves, rebuild our strength and resilience and senses of humor so that we can be ready when something else happens, so that we can ride the next wave without letting it carry us away.

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