Sunday, August 21, 2016

middle of the road

walking the faint path through the green grass out of the corner of my eye I espied a small creature flat on her back appendages splayed, four longish tiny feet and a tail, white belly, it was a mouse, dead, and it gave me half a start and I thought I should get the camera, take a picture, write about it, but in one hand I had something I don’t remember and in the other a clear plastic bag of dog poop and Josie was waiting for me by the van because we were heading to the vet, a 9 a.m. appointment, so I had to keep moving, let thoughts of the dead mouse on the path caught in the corner of my eye die.

Life is funny that way.

at the vet Josie had to go in the back to get his blood drawn for a heartworm test and I had to stay in the examination room and the first guy that came to get Josie, to take him back, well, you know how Josie is, he wasn’t interested, not even when treats got involved, so the guy said let’s see if he’ll go with so-and-so and left, leaving the door to the back open, and I held Josie and showed him—see, it’s OK—and I thought well why couldn’t I just go with him but then a woman came and simply took him from my arms and I was saying “if he freaks out I could come with” but she just took him from my arms and walked away and closed the door and I realized oh, I am the one who is going to freak –

life is funny –

and first I tried concentrating on flea & tick pamphlets and then I tried counting slowly but these flashbacks just take control and this time what I see and more importantly what I feel, what brings tears to my eyes and how I wish it wouldn’t, is the scene from two years ago when after having Josie two weeks I take him back to the shelter so I can leave for a week and the shelter seems the best option because at least he knows the place, they know him, he can play with other dogs, I know he’ll be safe, cared for, but after I settle him in the large walk-in cage—I don’t remember exactly how it happens—it was noisy, dogs barking, echoing—Josie got out of the cage and we didn’t know where he was and then suddenly he’s behind me, clambering up my legs, frantic –

life is so damn funny –

and of course Josie doesn’t understand I have to leave because I want what he thought he’d found and it’s way out there and I have to go, just for a week, but you know how dogs are, every moment a lifetime, and there is that moment in the kennel full of caged barking dogs I am frantic because I don’t know where Josie is—how does he just disappear?—in the midst of all this chaos then my knees are buckling he is there and what am I doing? leaving him? for what? -

life is funny -

so she says “He was fine” carrying Josie back into the room and that’s pretty much how he was at the shelter, too, because one day I called and he was out playing with other little dogs and me I was just beating that old dead horse, which is so much better than beating that which is living -

You think life is funny?

On the way home from the vet (and at one point Josie did crawl onto my shoulder because that vet he was poking and prodding, that’s what they do) a dog stood in the middle of the road. I pulled off on the shoulder. A big truck in the opposite lane slowed down. A pick-up truck came up over the rise, behind the big truck, braked sharply. A little car came up behind the pick-up, smashed into it. The dog moved and the big truck rolled on. The pick-up and the smashed car were stopped dead, but the people were okay. And the dog went home.

Life is funny that way.


  1. I'm having flashbacks now. My late B was cared for at the vet's office for a few months until we saw her and took her home. I figured if I wanted to go on vacation I could board her there since she was so familiar with the place. Never happened - just couldn't do it. Always took our dogs with us on vacation (vacation consisted of visiting family, haven't taken a real "trip" in years). ~ P