About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

When you can't help but be personal

Note: I am republishing posts which had photos lost during the exporting process. This post was originally published on September 12, 2010. Since then Wyatt wrote a personal narrative about the experience for school. The paper received an "A."

When you write a professional blog, experts advise not to get too personal.

On September 8 my dog Watch was struck by a vehicle late at night in front of my house. I couldn't write about it and not be anguished. Nor could I ignore it. 

Mike and I still don't know what happened. Watch had gone running full bore many times before, but had always stopped short at the driveway. The only times he didn't stop were when he chased an unknown animal behind the house. Maybe this time the intruder tried to escape by crossing the road. 

I heard the collision, and still do. Mike raced out and saw the distraught driver, the stopped vehicle, and Watch. Wyatt, thankfully, was sound asleep. And thankfully, Watch went quickly.

There was much recrimination. Of self, of others. No shortage of if-onlys, why-did-I-have-tos, why-didn't-I's, what-ifs. 

The next day I couldn't understand why the air was so quiet. Then I realized. In the twenty years Mike and I have been married, we've always had one dog, often two, and sometimes three. This was the first time we had no dogs in the house. 

I cleared the counter of dishes that weren't washed the night before. I picked up a plate with a few spoonfuls of food on it and thought, "Watchie can clean this up."

Going to bed that night, I stepped carefully so I wouldn't step on him in the dark.

After nine years you get used to someone being around, even if that someone is a dog. 

Mike and I have had three other dogs, Stoney, Crunch, and Tipper. Each had to be euthanized because age or illness had compromised their quality of life. Each was a difficult decision, but a decision nonetheless. Each was a safely performed procedure in a veterinarian's office, not a brutally capricious fate on a gravel road. There was time to prepare, to say goodbye.

Some will say, "It's just an animal." Years ago Grandma was heartsick when her dog Tiny died. My Slovak-born great-grandmother chided her, "Why are you crying? A dog hasn't got a soul."

Others will know exactly what I'm talking about. Mike told a guy at work about Watch. The coworker admitted he had built a coffin for his own dog when it passed.

As professionals, we try not to let personal crises overtake our lives. But sometimes we have no choice in the matter. That's when we realize there's no schedule so rigid that it can't be bent, no meeting so important that it will stop the great world from spinning if it's rescheduled.

Sometimes it's okay to say, "I hurt, and need time to feel better."

Because you come back feeling stronger.

I look forward to telling you more about Watch, and have started a photo album about him. I will add more photos as I find them. To all, thank you for your support and encouragement.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics