I walked from the night into the veterinarian’s office with blood smeared on my arms, caked on my T-shirt and dried into the crevices of my toenails.
I’d nursed a lot of animals before, but I’d never seen so much blood. At the sight of my baby’s wet, dripping, red paws, I had initially thought the worst.
“Oh, my God!” I yelled to my husband on the porch. “He’s been attacked!”
We quickly figured out that I was wrong. There had been no angry growls or howls, and Tuffy’s face and chest weren’t damaged. He’d simply escaped the fence and stepped on something terribly sharp.
I left the house “as is.” I didn’t take my purse, my ID, my cell phone, money, water or eye glasses – my usual bundle of comforts and necessaries. I gave my husband a single instruction.
“Get the credit card.”
The vet told us Tuffy had nearly severed a toe but that he’d be fine. We left him in her care. She stitched him up, and now for two weeks, he’s confined so he doesn’t tear his healing wounds.
It’s interesting how life shifts so quickly. I was planning to catch the very first episode of The Nanny at 11. Despite upteempth reunions, I’ve never seen the first show. Instead, I was holding my baby, cooing at him and squeezing his paw to stop the bleeding. He licked my hand.
The Nanny didn’t matter. Sleep didn’t matter. What I looked like didn’t matter.
Perhaps you’ve noticed. I’ve been absent from this blog for a few weeks. All my paid accounts asked me to do stories for them at the same time, with deadlines that loomed within a five to six week period. I tend to get tunnel vision in situations like this.
I’ve still got about three weeks before all the deadlines pass, but the Tuffy incident brought me back to a time I’d bandaged other beloved pets, when I was single and more carefree.
I don’t want to be a human doing. I want to be a human being. To be. If I focus on what I have to do, I may lose myself. I may lose touch with who I am. And I may lose touch with the things – the people, and yes, the animals – that mean the most to me.
Tuffy never loses sight of what’s most important in his life – his people.
Sometimes, even though we’ve lost precious people to death, and perhaps even precious animals, we lose sight of what means the most to us. And then Life comes along and slaps us in the face and reminds us how fleeting it is. An attitude adjustment.
We need to examine our lives and our attitudes from time to time because we typically drift back into our old ways.
Thanks to God for a whack on the head. And for an infectiously happy dog with huge smarts. He never makes a to-do list that’s more important than the people in his life.
What scared you into becoming a human being again?
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