Spanky and the Vet

A few years ago, we had a shy, neurotic, little-old-man, Maltese dog.  His name was Spanky.

Life confused Spanky a little.  He just wanted it to leave him alone.  To lie in front of the fire in winter, stretch out on the cold tile in summer, ignore the doggie obligations in his life…this was enough for Spanky.  When he had to go to the vet, his coping mechanism was to turn his head to the side and gaze thoughtfully into the distance of the exam room, and just pretend the vet was not there.  It worked for him.

In my three decades of a nurse and a mom, I never turned my head to the side.  I watched in the mirror as my twins emerged into the world.  I sutured my son’s eyebrow laceration as he lay on the kitchen table.  Lots of gory, stabby, holey, bleedy, bones-sticking-out scenes as a flight nurse.  Grab it by the biggest handle available and deal with it.

But this is different.  It’s like Jerry and I have been snakebit four or five times in the last few weeks, and we’re praying it doesn’t coil up and bite us again.  Oddly, I find myself looking away.  I don’t really want to know the name of the snake right now, I just want it to go away forever.  Leave us alone while we suck out the poison.  No internet searches for statistics, research, clinical trials.  No digging.  At least…not yet.

I am a woman of courage and strength.  I hope this phase doesn’t last long.

“I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:8


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