Archive for August, 2010
A few weeks ago, I fell down a flight of stairs in my house. I didn’t fall because Tasha, my four-year-old golden retriever, was in the way. I slipped and was lucky to have her at the bottom of the stairs, licking me and encouraging me to stand up. Once a frenzied puppy that I had rescued at eight months, Tasha had settled down to become an amazing and patient friend. This time, it was me who needed to be rescued.
As I sat shaking on the floor, Tasha nuzzled me and observed me with a quizzical expression. I got up slowly, grabbing onto her back, and reassured her that I was okay. Something told her that I wasn’t, because she wouldn’t leave my side, even as I shooed her away.
As it turned out, she was right—I wasn’t okay. Finally, I went to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, and Tasha went to stay at a friend’s house. After the diagnosis, I was transferred to a prominent Seattle hospital and had surgery for a fractured sacrum. When I woke up, I lay on my side and thought of Tasha. I wondered how she was doing, if she missed me, and if she instinctively knew that I would be back to take care of her and resume our relationship.
Before I left the hospital, I was told that I couldn’t walk for six weeks, until the screws in my pelvis were set. Six weeks! I immediately thought, “I can’t do that!” Just the thought of it was too much to bear. My next thoughts were, “How am I going to get my dog back? When can I go home with her? Who will walk and feed Tasha, and who will take care of her? “
I spent the next two weeks at a rehabilitation center. My friend brought Tasha there to visit me a number of times. When Tasha saw me, she immediately jumped up on the bed, as she does at home, and again, licked and nuzzled me. I desperately wanted her back.
I am now at home in a wheelchair and slowly getting better. Tasha often lies on her corner of the bed where she seems content to be, and we are together again. With her by my side, I can’t think of a better way to recover.