The Best Gift: Love

yoda5I had a major scare this month with one of the loves of my life, my pup, Yoda.  She is a sensitive girl with quite a few unknown allergies, as I learned each time the hard way.

I dropped her off at her veterinarian for a routine teeth cleaning, a first time for my nine-year old Snorkie (schnauzer-yorkie) breed.  I was worried about putting her under anesthesia for a painless deep clean, but her vet and groomer assured me she’d be fine, and she needed it to keep her teeth into old age.  She loves food, so I considered her future.  For the procedure I couldn’t feed her in the morning, so I planned on picking her up late afternoon with a junior burger.

Upon arriving she gave me concern looks, Why am I here getting poked and prodded while I’m hungry?

The doctor said he’d call after the procedure to let me know how she’s doing.

I got the call early afternoon.  “She’s stable,” he said in a shaky,  stressful tone.

He then explained that she made it through the cleaning and woke up with a cough, so he gave her penicillin and she went into anaphylactic shock. She needed three epi pens to come around, an iv, and she’s now on oxygen.

I paced as tears flowed down my cheeks.

He continued.  “I want to keep her on oxygen, and monitor her closely.  She will need to go to a 24 hour care facility around 5:00.  I’ll call and let you know in a few hours.”

“I want to see her before she goes into intensive care,” I managed to say without a sob.

“Yes, I’ll need you to pick her up for the transfer.”

After hanging up I paced some more, made a few phone calls to those who could listen and just floated around not knowing what to do.  There was nothing I could do but hope for the best outcome, her survival.  I was at home waiting for the air-conditioning repairman to finish his work.

He looked at me with concern. “Is everything okay?”

“No, my dog.”  I sobbed.   “Hospital.”

He was compassionate and showed it, although his English was limited he understood and kept saying “sorry.”  I’m sure it’s hard for a stranger to watch a woman cry, but he was gracious and fixed my AC.

I lingered and wandered around the house, and then my office building around the corner until I got the phone call to transfer her to ER.

When I arrived to pick her up, the vet emerged holding Yoda perched in his arms.  It looked like they both went to hell and back.  He gave me the address and let me know they are expecting her and fully aware of the situation.

What should have been a 10 minute drive turned into a harrowing half hour.  My right hand was on her tummy making sure she breathed.  We sat in holiday traffic as I had to remember to stay calm despite her struggle for steady breath.  She flashed me, What the hell looks.”  I glanced back with love, although my nerves and mind seemed uncertain and scared.

“We got this,” I whispered to her.  “Hang in there punky.”

The facility and staff were welcoming and amazing.  She’d be in the best care, level one, which is like intensive care with constant checking in on her well being.  If necessary, they’d notify me with updates and I could call anytime to check on her.

I called in the evening.  They told me she’s fine but still on oxygen, and she’d been through a lot.  My heart dropped and worried.  She had to pull through because she loves life and is loved dearly by many.

In the evening I learned from my groomer friend that she had more machines on her than her body size.  The scene was pretty chaotic and tense from what she said.  They were determined to keep her alive, and I’d be forever thankful.

It was a difficult night for both of us.  With my husband out-of-town and dog in the hospital I watched a feel good movie.  Throughout the night, I sent good vibes to both of them, and the universe knowing she had to pull through.  Our time together was not over, not yet.  We have too much love to share, and lessons to teach each other.

yoda

The next day I picked her up, bought her that Wendy’s hamburger, fed her meds she spit out and just enjoyed each others company.  I got the evil eye, followed by looks of unconditional love.  That to me is the best present I could have.

 

 

My Love, my first and forever dog.

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christmas is near

Ahh. It’s that time of year again for holiday cheer and fun.  Parties, presents, the smell of pine in the home, eggnog, shopping and expressing our love for those whom touch our lives throughout the year. 

In my youth the Christmas buzz began for me on St. Nicolas day, December 6th.  My siblings and I would eagerly awake to a stocking filled with candy.  A tradition  I let go wayside, but my brother still continues.  Every December 6th, his wife fills his stocking with goodies.  Nowadays, more gift cards than candy but his boyish excitement still lingers.  Jealous I am.  So what is St. Nick’s day, and who is St. Nick?

It’s largely a Catholic holiday and gives tribute to Nicholas of Myra (now in Turkey), a Greek saint that was the patron saint of Russia.  But I’m not Greek or Russian, so why did my family celebrate this holiday?  According to Wikipedia,  the tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to the surviving legends of the saint. More specifically his reputation as a bringer of gifts.  He is also the patron saint of seafarers. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends.  Dutch Immigrants are largely responsible for bringing the tale and image of St. Nickolas, Sinter Klaas in Dutch, to New York.  In 1823, one notable Dutch-American, Clement Clarke Moore, furthered the image of St. Nick  in his poem “The Night Before Christmas.”  Sinter Klaas now had an elf like appearance, named reindeer, jolly laughs, and delivered gifts through the chimney.

So is St. Nick the pre-Santa Claus, the Father Christmas, good old Kris Kringle ?  And how did the image of the jolly old Santa come to be?  While Saint Nicholas is portrayed as thin man wearing bishop’s robes, today Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, white- bearded man wearing a red coat with a white-collar and cuffs, red trousers, a black  belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the influence of caricaturist  Thomas Nast.  During the Civil War, Nast, a political cartoonist, drew Santa Claus for Harper’s WeeklySanta was shown as a small elf-like figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years and along the way changed the color of his coat from tan to red with white trim, from his interpretation of St. Nick.  Coca-Cola picked up on these drawings and adopted the jolly old Santa for its advertising in the 1930’s.  “Thirst Knows No Season,”  Coke claimed and the image of Santa was set.  Humm.  The modern Santa is an advertising ploy?

Another marketing addition to our Christmas iconography was the invention of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer by Robert May of the Montgomery Ward CompanyHe created a poem about Rudolph and handed it out to all the company’s customers.  Prior to 1939 there were only eight reindeer.

Of course Santa can’t live at the North Pole alone, he needed a compassionate partner.  Mrs. Claus doesn’t have roots in European folklore, she was originally the creation of American authors.    A  poem called “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” written by Katharine Lee Bates popularized the image of Mrs. Claus.

December 6th flew by this year as in last, but next year I’ll make a point to put a little something in my family’s Christmas stockings to signal the beginning of the season.

Have a happy healthy Christmas, and always a safe one.  I’ll blog again after the holidays.