Related topics

PET TALK: Into every life a little rain must fall

February 13, 2019 GMT

Into every life a little rain must fall, but how do you define “a little rain”?

It could be a tease with a few rain drops that “splat” on the pavement and settle into a steady pitter-patter. Or, quite the opposite, it could be a murderous thunderstorm with rain whooshing down followed by ear splitting claps of thunder and scary bolts of lightning, finished within minutes.

I’m experiencing the whooshing, ear-splitting, bolt type, and it’s absolutely no fun at all.

Major surgery brings one down a peg or two. Switching from doctor to patient and completely surrendering to the orders of others (husband included) is humbling. Now that I’ve had foot surgery, complete with metal enhancements, I have to slow down and pamper my foot. I never realized how important feet are!

Thankfully, the first week is history. Staying ahead of pain with medications (a flow of opioids and Ibuprofen), bed rest and ice has certainly helped. It’s the boot, the blasted boot, that’s killing me though. I have to eat, drink and sleep in it. I’m so looking forward to the next five weeks (not!).

Life isn’t particularly exciting right now, and time weighs heavily. It usually takes me awhile to think of a theme for these stories, but my cup runneth over.

My first thoughts are about the difference in species while being a patient (human versus animal).

We humans are so pathetic when we’re sick. We run to the doctor seeking cures for minor sniffles and tummy aches. We latch onto weirdo roots and fruits, mindfulness magic, and Dr. Google. We moan and groan (present company excluded) after major surgery because of the crescendo of pain.

Pets are entirely different. They’re tough. They’re hardy, gritty, determined and resolute. They run to the beat of an entirely different drummer. The survival instinct still flows deep in the silky Maltese and the tabby-striped cat. Admittedly, their biology differs from ours due to a remarkable opiate system that surges with recuperation and protection against pain.

Rarely do they call attention to themselves and ask for help. Cats especially will keep plugging along, hiding their illness, so they do not fall prey to the enemy. How sad that we frequently don’t recognize when they are sick, when they hurt, when they are in pain.

That’s our job. We need to be vigilant, keep our eyes wide open, to the health of our pets and other animals in distress. How sad when no one steps up for the hungry feral cat or the chained back yard dog. They can’t tell us what is wrong.

My second thoughts are about how awesome my nurse is – my dog, Dora, not my husband! She has not left my side since I came home. She instinctively knows there is something wrong with me and lays, hour after hour, on the bed with me. This dog usually wanders the house at night, sometimes choosing to sleep under the bed, on the guest bed, in her bed, even on the Lazy Boy. Right now, she is even following me and returning when I call her from the back yard. The possums and sticks hold no allure for her. Miss Independent Devil dog is now my shadow. How nice!

That’s because I’m her person, and she is mine. Heavens knows, I usually have little control over her but now she is reciprocating the care and love I have shown her over the years. She’s taking care of me now, and I am grateful. We’ll see how long it continues after I am well.

Being the ever optimist, this is a bump in the road, a small one. After all, a rainbow always follows the rain, somewhere!