Debra Moore

The World According to ME


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On Fear and Acceptance

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Boofie. I have seriously underestimated you. And I am so happy to discover more of the depth of your mighty heart and how you have become such a blessing to me.

So I made the decision to bring you with me to Tacoma. It was to be a very quick trip, just overnight, seeing my cousin from Sacramento who was up here for her granddaughter’s college graduation. I worried so much: how would you react to strangers and the long time in the car? How would you be in the hotel room? Would you be happier in the Doggie Hotel that you stayed in before? I gambled and brought you with me.

So we picked up my cousin at Sea Tac, after 45 minutes of circling and wondering where she was. As she is not a good solo traveler my mood became testy as I worried where could she be? Finally she came out and as she got into the car you sniffed her face and then lay down between us as we started out for Tacoma. She was nervous because she knows you had been a dog who could become easily stressed and unpredictably startled. We worried for nothing, my dear girl.

We reached the hotel, eager to see Cousin’s daughter and her family. They had decided to bring their chihuahua, Skittles, and as we parked we were met by Cousin’s younger granddaughter, who was quiet and uncharacteristically sad. After checking in she told us that Skittles had run out of the hotel room and into the street. She had bounced off of a truck and was now at the emergency vet which was in walking distance. As we began to walk over to the vet we saw Cousin’s daughter and family coming slowly across the lot. Their swollen red faces said it all: it was serious, it had been terrifying and so quick.

But Skittles was alive. All that the vet could tell was that she had broken her pelvis in three places and they were not sure that she had not ruptured her bladder. There was no way to tell in this early stage whether or not she had brain damage or was bleeding internally. It was a waiting game for now, all that could be done was done. And what were you doing, Boofie? You were at my side, calm and attentive to the emotions around you. You allowed them all to come near for my hugs and messages of sadness and hope. You were wonderful.

Then we retired to the hotel to rest and wait. Cousin and I tried to relax but that was simply not a possibility. You lay down next to the bed on the floor and waited with us. Your eyes never stopped looking at me, you continually shoved that great face in my hands for comfort. Soon a call came to return to the ER vet and get some news. We all went, you and I waiting outside because I know the vet is not where you want to be! The report was guarded and they had called ahead to a specialist in a nearby town for continued care. I volunteered to drive Cousin and her daughter, with Skittles, over to the vet who would take over her care. To accommodate Cousin’s daughter and Skittles, now in a cardboard box, we needed to take over a large part of your back seat area. That has always been your place, Boof, and as I pulled one of the seats up and our passengers were loaded, you lay down and sniffed the top of the box, a look of calm attentiveness on your gorgeous face.

We set off. You know, Boofie, that your Mom is lousy once off of our island! The madness of the freeways, the terrain identical with strip malls and fast food on every corner always sends me into delirious stress. Cousin’s daughter sat behind me giving directions from her GPS. It was rush hour. It was hideous. At one point I looked back and was flabbergasted: you had placed your face into the hand of Cousin’s daughter. She stroked your ears, your neck, your head. You calmed her, and she remarked at how soft you were to touch. All the while you continued to stick that nose into that box and observe the injured little one, radiating concern and calm. I could not believe how you behaved. I could not believe that my Boof had become such a grand and good girl.

We arrived at the second vet. As Skittles was unloaded from the back seat you slipped out unnoticed, without your leash. You disappeared around the front of the car toward the busy street and all I could think of to do was to give the command to WAIT. You did. You plopped your butt down and calmly looked at me as I clipped you up and then hugged you gratefully for listening so well. I was already exhausted and terribly tired. Just navigating those freeways and madness take a huge toll on me. Nothing like what was happening to Skittles’ family, of course.

It would be a touch-and-go situation for the rest of the evening and overnight. And costly. We left her there with the report that she was doing remarkable well. There was no sign of brain or internal bleeding. Her bladder and bowels were working. She was a miracle.

We came back to the hotel and again tried to rest. Plans were canceled and the focus shifted to the waiting game again. Cousin and I retired to the room after walking over for burgers instead of the big dinner all had planned. After a fitful evening of silly stress-relieving laughter over the situation and how it had become such a nightmare we awoke to the call that Skittles was alive and doing better than they had anticipated. Except for some nasty road rash, the nature of her fractures were not dire, she could survive with a limp without the $2 to $4000 surgery. She was eating well, peeing and pooping. We could come get her. And you continued to be a perfect companion. Silent and observing and sweet.

Back into the car, back onto the freeway, back to the vet. Boofie, you are amazing. You remained so sweet and quiet as we stopped at Walmart to pick up a tiny crate for Skittles to stay confined. You did not whine or complain. You allowed contact, again, with Skittles’ mom, which comforted her greatly. And you kept your distance when we got the little broken one into the car and drove once again back to the hotel.

So much pain. So much stress in two days. I felt as though I had been on the road forever. Of course nothing I went through approached the agony of Skittles’ people. Through the entire short trip you continued to amaze me because I have always been aware of your size and strength. You had a rough time before coming to me, and the shadow of that is always there, I know that. I have tried to shield you from others and to remain proactive for everyone’s safety. How could I have been so wrong? When did you become such a perfect Boofie? I am beyond pleased with you. I am delighted with you, love you more than I can say. Grateful for your companionship and grace.

Remember when we first came together? My intent was to foster and heal you and then let you go. Unthinkable, now, to be without you. I am overflowing with pride and so thankful that we are together. Thanks, dear one.