Valentine from my sweet Grandma. I love that she still takes the time to jot out handwritten cards and letters to people all the time. The inside reads--"Be Mine. Keep the prayers coming. Love, Gram!"
Last night, around 1 a.m. Mearl woke up and started frantically pacing in circles around our bed. She would jolt a little bit like she'd had a spasm (or how dogs have the hiccups--but it wasn't the hiccups). I was up for about 2 hours with her doing that, and her tail was unfurled and down, and her pug eyes looked at me with confusion. We both finally passed out, and before you know it, the alarm was going off. She and I both yawned a lot and forced ourselves to start the day. She seemed a bit better this morning, but I was still worried. Perhaps from lack of sleep, maybe neuroses, potentially that I posted on the pug forum, but I was quickly convinced that my precious pup was suffering from Meningitis or Pug Dog Encephalitis. Fortunately, I called Dad and he took us to the vet. He tries to be gruff, but he patted her a few times to comfort her--she adores my Dad. She has a really bad ear infection so she's on 8 drops in each ear twice a day and pain meds.
The vet office was a nightmare, though. The vet is either really good with everyone excited, reuniting in the lobby and licking and jumping and yapping and baby talk and head pats, or the vet is really bad. Today, the vet was really bad. A grown burly man dressed head to toe in camouflage--he looked like a farmer--came in with his Boston Terrier. He cradled her like a baby the whole time, and he rubbed her under her chin until she dozed against his chest. When they came out to collect her, I noticed her eye was horribly infected and bulging even more than Boston Terriers usually stick out. He was insistent that they were gentle with her, and he reluctantly passed her over to the assistant. Then, he sat down in his chair, and he started to cry. He had tears rolling down his cheeks for quite some time, and he snuffled and several times wiped his entire face in his t-shirt. I wanted desperately to hug him, to tell him how I didn't know what he was going through but how sorry I was. I wanted to offer comfort in some way, but I also didn't know if how he felt about crying in public. I wasn't sure if he was embarrassed since he kept staring off outside the door, away from everyone in the room. I was the only one on his side of lobby, but I didn't want to impose on his sadness either, you know? When I'm having a hard time and crying, I hate people to touch me, and I'd prefer to be left alone. Out of respect for him, I averted my eyes just in case he wanted privacy. I really wanted to just pat his knee, though. I wanted to not say anything but give some sign that I understood, that I was sorry. They took him back to speak with the doctor, and not 15 minutes later, an older woman came in dragging a dog slowly behind her. The animal looked in pain and crouched low, and in spite of her soothing tones, it dug its heels in and just allowed her to pull it's defeated body behind her. This was definitely a bad case. She covered it with a towel and sat near it in a chair. She was already crying, and she whispered and whimpered apologetically to it, "I waited too late. I waited too late." My eyes welled up with tears, and I figured I was about a minute away from crying myself. The assistant quickly came out, comforting both her and carrying the huge dog in her arms and found them a private room. The administrative assistants apologized to me for making me wait, and I shook my head, fighting back tears. Compassion was heavy in the room. The television played softly in the background, more news of the world falling apart. Everything on the Internet lately leads with “This should terrify everyone,” and it does, but this moment of pure compassion in the lobby, our eyes cast down softly, or when we dared lock them, hoping to convey our love, our understanding. The madness of the world seemed like it was happening on another planet. We all just stared at the 80 something year old parrot. He meowed or said "America" intermittently while furiously ripping newspaper and throwing it through the cage bars onto the floor.