Poor Sadie. A few days ago my little pup was bitten by another dog at doggy day care. She never cried or barked or signaled in any way that something was wrong. She just trudged along through the snow, taking care of business, and going about her life.
Upon noticing a blood spot on her crate pad, I saw the welt on her leg – it looked painful, but when I touched it she did not react. So, we went on a trip to the vet. Without complaint, she allowed the vet to examine her and poke around; she didn’t even flinch when she was injected with the rabies shot. “She doesn’t feel pain,” said the vet.
She may not feel pain, but I was feeling it for her. When they put the cone of shame on her, I thought I was going to burst into tears. I kept trying to convince them, “No, Sadie isn’t going to lick the wound. She’ll be fine.” But as I said it, little miss pup starts to lick! “She’s going to have to get used to it,” the vet informed me.
I don’t want her to get used to it; I want this to not have happened to her and for everything to be normal. I want her to run around and snuggle up with me on the couch. I want her to eat and poop and sleep comfortably. My heart is breaking for her. I cannot believe the feelings I am having. It is as if I am feeling the pain for her. I feel like her mother.
I am getting a glimpse into what life must have been like for my mother for the past seven years. She had to watch me go through the most frightening of moments, not knowing how to help, or even if she could. I do hear myself, and, yes, it does sound kind of ridiculous – how can a dog bite compare to years dealing with cancer. It’s not the incident or the disease, but the power of loving something more than yourself. That is how I feel about my dog.
Sadie sits by my side as I write this. I run my hand over her back, telling her “It’s going to be ok,” and hoping that she is somehow soothed. I am brought back to memories of my own mother’s hand, soothing me, telling me everything is going to be ok. She was right.