This all started on Friday, which if we’re thinking of the weekend as a giant, lovely pool with a swim up bar and shaded cabanas…then Friday, is the diving board to such a lovely oasis. Now, the driving board itself can be a frightening and potentially embarassing piece of equipment, one which commands respect and fear since even the most graceful of divers has had the misfortune of flying off one of those things into the water with the skill and poise of a shot mallard…thereby branding you as the asshole that flopped into the pool for the rest of the day, and THAT is what happened to me.
The morning had started out so very well, and if I’m going to brag about it, I was on top of it. Things at the office were getting nailed down, I had a workflow like the Amazon River going through my office, and file after file was getting sorted in short order and put in the “Done” pile. I printed out a consent form for my greyhound’s dental cleaning appointment on Monday, had that filled out, ordered a copy of his bloodwork from the the other vet, drew cash out of the bank to pay and put it all in an envelope with his name neatly printed on the top right corner…like a boss. I went home for lunch with Mr. Gossip feeling pretty optimistic about the whole thing, and as I relaxed on our couch for an hour, I looked forward to getting everything wrapped up that afternoon, and starting my three day weekend with a clear desk and mind.
As I left our little house, that all came crashing down when I spontaneously and without cause, rolled my left ankle, pitched forward off our stoop, skinned my right knee onto the pavement and skidded to an undignified stop on my ass in a snowbank atop my rose bushes…well, that just tore it. All of my Super Woman Who Has Her Shit Together-ness leaked out into that dingey snow and as I realized that my ankle was sprained, my knee was bleeding and I wouldn’t be able to get up without help, I got it over with and started crying in my front yard, like a little kid, I started howling…for anyone close enough to hear or see, hey, there’s a grown woman in a snowbank over there having a emotional breakdown…
Mr. Gossip had seen my fly down like a dead swan across our font window and came out to find me braying on the frozen ground, he quickly hauled me up out of my landing strip, he pulled his wet butted, runny mascara having, snot faced, limping mess of what used to be his wife into the house to mitigate the damage. As he rolled up my pants and took off one shoe, it was apparant that I had surpassed myself, a bloody skin the size of a saucer graced my upper calf and right knee, the ankle in question was already turning black and swelling to the point that it looked like I was hiding a softball in there…but was obviously not broken. As I wiped the carnage of what had started out as a pretty good makeup job off my face with a tissue considerately provided by my loving spouse, I resigned myself to stumbling off to work and finishing the day, once and for all. Mr. Gossip argued that I was done, but I would not be moved. I limped figuratively and literally through the afternoon, fighting off random waves of tears over the whole incident, which left me exhausted by the time I got home. In no condition to do anything, other than lay on our couch with my foot under a bag of ice, we ordered Chinese and indulged ourselves in a Locked Up Abroad overdose until bedtime.
The next morning I was as rusty as an old gate, reduced to taking stairs one at a time, and popping ibuprofen like penny candy…I was quickly sequestered to our sofa. Mr. Gossip and my brother attended to the beer we had brewed the weekend prior, along with the project of making a superior brewing apparatus, aptly named, “Astofelopthakettle” for future beer brewing adventures, while my brother’s puppy, Von learned how a real dog pack functions with the Gossip hounds in our basement. Exhausted from simply laying there and looking haggard, I napped most of the afternoon away and after an uneventful evening, we pressed on into Sunday.
Where a completely mis-forcasted skift of snow had turned into a day and a half long blizzard of epic proportions that dumped a foot and a half of snow on our fair town…now we’re Coloradans…and snow certainly isn’t anything that stops us….but the fact of the matter was:
On Monday, Cairo needed to be taken an hour away to a veterinary dental clinic and arrive by 7:30am sharp, Mr. Gossip’s car is the ONLY car that can accommodate said dog, since my roadster is inadequate in EVERY way, however sporty and fast, and our original plan of swapping cars, since Mr. Gossip had appointments of his own to attend was absurd since you could high center the roadster on a well placed pin so forget about forging ahead in a foot of snow…. the already stressful Monday slowly morphed into an evil dragon which I dreaded having to face.
A word about greyhounds is appropriate and warranted at this point:
Every year in America, hundreds of thousands of racing greyhounds are retired as they are either too old to continue racing, at about 5 years of age, OR they were never any good at it anyway and are a total waste of the racing kennel’s time, at around 2 years of age. I can tell you that they are amazing and lovely companions, the likes of which can never matched by any other breed, they certainly aren’t for everyone, but to the right person, the quiet grace and dignity of these lithe and soulful dogs becomes a component they wonder how they ever lived without. And while I do not disagree with racing greyhounds in general, quite the contrary since I wish I liked any one thing as much as my darling Cairo likes to run, I understand that the life of a racing hound is basic, spartan and rather empty on an emotional level, not out of cruelty or neglect, but necessity and industry, since they are working animals, tasked with the function of racing to win and make their owners money. Hence, it falls upon us greyhound lovers, to ensure a fantastic retirement for these athletic dogs to enjoy their years off track and asleep on our sofas, if you don’t have one, get one, they’re greyt!
That being said, these dogs, while cost effective to obtain, can be slightly high maintenance in the upkeep department, since their teeth are notorious for rotting in their heads, and anesthetizing a greyhound is risky under the best of circumstances, much more so in the case of Cairo, an 11 year old senior…I was just a little apprehensive about the entire thing to begin with…adding in the transportation issue and the snow was not helping.
It is no secret, I am a slave to three souls on this Earth, Mr. Gossip, my daughter Punkin and Cairo…as a normally reasonable and level headed individual, my common sense, pride and dignity are of no consequence when it comes to those three. No expense, distance, danger or threat would dissuade me from doing what I had to for any one of them and I make no apologies for it, it’s who I am and how I love.
Even considering the chance that Cairo might not come out of the procedure had reduced me to tears more times than I could count over the last two weeks, and to put it mildly, I was a mess over the whole thing…but facts were facts, his teeth were diseased and painful, avoiding this procedure to prolong his life made about as much sense as teaching a pig to roller skate…
…and that is when, a hero emerged,
Every woman, no matter how independant, intelligent and capable, will sooner or later, run aground on circumstances beyond her control…and while I was certainly prepared to make this Mini-Iditarod happen come hell or high water, one look at my limping, red eyed and apprehensive visage made it obvious that I was in no shape for the task.
Mr. Gossip, being the intuitive and sweet man that he is, cancelled his morning appointments, set the alarm for 4:45am and prepped the car for our treck North. Before dawn we were up, stirring about the house, putting blankets in the dryer and warming up the car, as I sat on the sofa with my darling hound, waiting for the time to leave, he awkwardly curled up next to me, laid his head across my chest and with a sigh that seemed to say, “In heaven or Earth, there’s no place better than right here, right now, with you.” I savored what could be our last moments together, though I hated myself for even thinking something so bleak.
When the time came to leave him with the vet, and they were such lovely and caring people, that was obvious, I admit they had to pry his leash out of my hand, and I cried for a good twenty minutes on the way home, my husband assuring me it would be alright. In the five and a half years I had known Cairo, I had never left him anywhere that wasn’t our house, with close friends, and the thought of him alone in a strange place with strange people, however kind hearted, mortified me.
By the time we slid home, I was exhausted, my intrepid husband had to venture out for another appointment and he left me there, to sleep on the couch with my phone clutched in my hand, our two dogs nervously laying nearby. The call came in around 1pm, he was done, he was awake and he had lost several molars…relief! Mr. Gossip brought my totally dazed, un-coordinated, drooling dog home, and as tragic as he looked, I’ve never seen a more welcome, wanted or beautiful sight.
I’ll confess to sleeping on the couch with him nearby all night, last night, my hand on his slender back as it slowly rose and fell in sleep….you can laugh at me if you want, hell, I’d probably join you, because he might just be a dog, and it was only a snowstorm, so what if I sprained my ankle and Mr. Gossip did what any good husband would have…I sincerely feel so fortunate and lucky today, I don’t even mind that my ankle feels like it’s going to explode and the snow has started to fall again….it’s too good to be Beulah today, too good by far.