THE BACKWARD SPELLING OF DOG IS NO COINCIDENCE …
As many of you may know if you’ve been following this series from the outset (is it six weeks already? Wow, time flies when you share life lessons lol!), the final catalyst in my decision to take a much-needed digital break – and overall break from the rigors of life as I knew it as a go go go Social Gal and publisher/entrepreneur (can you say burnout?!) – was the wholly unexpected and boy did it throw me for a loop and then some, sudden collapse of my beloved fur baby, Presley, on a Friday night before Victoria’s Day back in May.
Literally out of the blue, this usually bursting with energy little firecracker toy Maltese, who, despite his adult dog status, takes playtime with his toy squad next level, gave a usual exuberant jump out of one of his several fluffy bed perches (devotedly spoilt he his) only to collapse on his side, unable to stand, with an expression as perplexed and terrified on his ever-irresistible face as my own.
Scared to even approach for fear I’d exacerbate the situation, I attempted to pick him up, gingerly, careful to cradle the fragile five-pound body that I suspected at the time had suffered a broken bone in a fall or twist I’d somehow missed, improbable as that was, with him so safely ensconced in his bed by my side.
As we sat there together, both trembling, paralyzed by the unknown that had taken us by such surprise, in a world already so unpredictably upside downed and destabilized by the pandemic, it hit me just how much I adored this precious pooch in my arms, who I had impulsively purchased over a decade earlier in NYC, unable to resist his wild “pick me!” dance in his pet store crate, and subsequent spooning into my body with such ease when I held him for the very first time, putty in his paws …
He had literally been my most trusted and devoted companion through it all, the magic moments, the victories, the disappointments, the challenges, the break-ups, the make-ups, always there to sit stoically by my side, greet me with unparalleled enthusiasm and excitement, wash my face with sloppy kisses, make me laugh uncontrollably with his outrageous antics, and consistently outpour the kind of indescribable nonjudgmental love and support that only a devoted pet can.
The thought of anything happening to him, or far worse, life without him, was in a word, unthinkable. So I didn’t – think – and instead whirred into action mode, dialing up the first person I thought of who may be able to help, a dedicated dog owner herself and treasured sister friend of the take charge variety, Jen Roman, who immediately took up the reigns as she always does, patiently advising I get dressed, stay calm, and expect her in fifteen to whisk Presley and I to the 24-hour emergency pet hospital, the only option on a holiday weekend during a quarantine.
What ensued from there was a weeks long rehabilitation/nightmare I choose regularly to block out but dare to share in this safe place for there are lessons that might well be of value to others, worth the pains of recollection …
Though the veterinarian on duty who kept Presley overnight for observation was unsure of the cause of his right-side paralysis leaning towards stroke (a maddening proposition when you’re desperately in search of a why) even intimating he may not make it (your worst fear verbalized and thereby rendered a distinct possibility), somehow, I found a core of unimaginable strength to move forward and do whatever it took to keep this guy going, buoyed by the fact that Presley himself was still with us, still fighting …
And it is precisely that fighting spirit, revealed by tiny but unrelenting him, day after day during an incredibly challenging rehabilitation period in which he and I both worked diligently, painstakingly, together, to regain abilities most specialists declared largely out of the question, eventually watching him walk on his own despite a slight limp, ultimately running too, that I realized this dog had become even more precious than before, teaching lessons of patience, persistence, perseverance, teamwork, and yes, miracles, surviving and thriving against all odds.
He was, and is, a God to me, having reignited my spirit with his indomitable one.
If anyone’s wondering why there’s been such a surge in pet ownership with the onset of the pandemic, breeders barraged by multiple calls a day, shelters unable to keep up with demand, fostering exploding at record rates, even gangsters and swindlers getting in on the action promising but not delivering fur babies in exchange for big $, they need wonder no more. The truth is plain to see.
Pets, in all their infinite wonder, bring the kind of comfort, love and companionship that not only warms the soul during the best of times, but is almost an imperative during the worst of times … the reason Ashley R. can’t stop gazing at her new Corgy puppy Queen Elizabeth, bedazzled by her essence; the reason Katia’s daughter burst into tears when puppy Archie was introduced as the newest member of the family; the reason Stanley and Lucy get serious airtime on zooms with their fur mamas, Lisa and Antonella; the reason Tuti can’t tear herself away from snuggle time with bunny Koby; the reason Presley’s rescue supershero Jen Roman sees daily walks with Maverik as sacred; the reason Murielle and kitty came as a duo; the reason Suzanne calls Molly her firstborn; the reason Johanne can’t talk about Brooklyn without tearing up; the reason Alain can’t sleep unless dog and cat are nestled at his head; the reason so many in world social media are flooding their phones and feeds with snaps, reels, stories and more of their greatest allies and champions … the furever besties who could care less about likes, follows and algorithms, motivated only by their pure love and devotion to us that is nothing short of godly.
Yes, penning this lesson made me cry, several times over. That said, Presley and I would love to hear from you too. How has your fur baby seen you through the pandemic? Changed your life? Do share, pics too please. Let’s post the good stuff! Xxxxx
PS: If you enjoyed this lesson, check out the last five here and stay tuned for the more, posted each week with companion material on Social Media, especially Instagram @diaryofasocialgal.