There exist iconic images of loss that are so real, so earth-shakingly poignant, they make us feel like we’ve been punched in the gut. Who, among us, can look at a soldier’s pair of empty boots without feeling a deep and profound sorrow – the sense of loss represented, the death of an individual. A mother’s grief?
A flag flown at half-mast. On September 11th every time I saw our flag lowered in respect, I felt the aching unfairness of it all. The lives that were ended, the potential that was taken away in a heartbeat. The innocence shattered.
I remember watching President Kennedy’s funeral procession with my mother. I was very, very young at the time, hardly aware of my part in life, and yet I remember the horse with the backward boot. Such a strange image, such a perfect image for a nation who felt confused and stranded. Our President was no longer leading the way. He was gone.
Images like these are not intended to prolong our grief and make us constantly feel sorrow. Instead they are created to give us pause, to make us remember what it is we no longer have. To be grateful we were able to be a part of someone’s life whose pain at their loss we feel so deeply. It reminds us that we have been profoundly touched by another.
Thank God there exist images like these. They cut to the chase by making us reflect, helping us to cope. The important thing to remember, however, when you see one is not to dwell on what is gone but instead to move forward, always forward, carrying the loving spirit and the lessons learned behind that loss forever in your heart.
We’re a week out from our dog: Nessa Rose’s medical crisis.
She survived. How lucky are we?
Except that she appears to have suffered significant brain damage.
She doesn’t recognize us. She sleeps at least 20 hours a day. She constantly shakes and falls over sometimes hurting herself when she turns a corner or jumps off a couch. She was aggressive before but now she’s even more aggressive, trying to bite us if we wake her up or try to move her while she is asleep.
Before we could control her aggression with our commands, now we can’t.
And as far as being housebroken, it’s fair to say that that part of her brain seems to have also been affected. When part of her life medical treatment includes being on a laxative 3 times a day, this has become a significant issue.
Which is the point of this post. Continue reading
I know I can’t keep you hanging on the news regarding our dog so here goes:
After I dropped off Nessa Rose at the vets (and at this point, the dog hadn’t moved in hours and was in fact posturing with her legs straight out and her head thrown back which is an indication of brain damage) they ran a few tests to see what could be done. She was hooked up to an IV so that fluids could be pumped into her dehydrated body.
After a few hours I got a call from the vet. She has a liver shunt (a structural defect) and is positive for Lyme disease. We’ve given her some medication but she hasn’t responded and is in a coma. We don’t have the services here that we’d need to treat her, you’ll have to transfer her to an emergency vet hospital.
As much as I love that dog, and don’t get me wrong, she’s still a pain in the neck, but I do love her, I couldn’t justify the cost of transferring her to a “critical care facility.” The vet was suggesting an MRI, possible surgery, extended care.
I was envisioning pulling my kids from college to pay the vet bills.
Wasn’t going to happen.
Okay, I said, give her one more dose of the medicine and if she doesn’t respond, we’ll make a decision about what to do tonight .
I contacted the kids’ soccer coaches. It looks like we’ll have to be putting a dog down tonight, no practice for us. Continue reading