Friday, October 8, 2010

Jack stood at the bottom of the stairs at the back door, looking up, quivering, and he was scared. He remembered his gallant attempt to jump up the first step the other day and how he had missed terribly, and impaled his soft broad belly on the corner of that first step. This time, his quivering, which began with this anticipated fear of pain, turned into more. Jack started to have a seizure.

Jack’s body began to jump and shake out of control. His eyes looked at me now with a new and different fear, a pleading, help me, I do not understand fear. I picked him up and put him on the floor inside the house. He frantically tried to regain control of his involuntary twitches but couldn’t. I grabbed a jar of honey and put some of the golden sugar in his mouth and soon the spasms thankfully subsided.

I called the vet and got advice on what to do with him for the evening and was told to bring him in the next am for a blood sugar test to see what was going on with the diabetes we were dealing with.

My thoughts from this episode were running pretty darned gloomy. The past few weeks since Jack was diagnosed with this issue has been rough and extremely intensive, time and attention wise, watching his every move and mood, wondering where his levels were. I have been carefully feeding him small amounts of food several times and day and following feeding up with three insulin shots daily. None of this has been fun or amusing for either of us, and I hate looking into his eyes before I stick yet another needle into his skin. So my thoughts were groping with the realizaiion that this was the way to the end, Jack was not going to be here much longer.

Surprise. The blood test showed that Jack had seized not because the diabetes had worsened, but that his pancreas had caught back up and had begun producing insulin again and the higher dose of it in his blood stream had caused the attack. This is a great thing. Jack is a recovering diabetic. The vet lowered his dosage and was thrilled at the results. Me too.

That was yesterday and as I needed to man the gallery in town and didn’t have time to take him home, Jack got to go urban with me. Jack went downtown, a first for him. I got him out of the truck and put his leash on and started to walk to the corner to cross the street. Jack was very disturbed by the cars, and the noise, and the big things that moved very fast past him. There were strange smells and the ground was not grassy but hard and white. His little tail was tucked firmly between his cheeks and his head was low and his face would not come out from behind my heels. There was finally no choice but to pick him up and carry the sucker if I wanted to get to the gallery in the present millennium.

Once inside the gallery, he remained a bit worried until some folks came in after their lunch at the nearby restaurant carrying their leftovers. Jack could smell the garlic and savory flavors they carried and he followed these folks around the room as they admired the photographs and paintings, wiggling and doing his best to get a sample, but to no avail. I had told them he was diabetic and they withheld the yummy pasta in their boxes. I gave him a piece of cheese from my leftover sandwich and he was cool with that. I still had to carry him back to the truck when I left tho. The big city is just way too scary for this little country dog.

Ironically, we both nearly died on the way home. Driving down the road and coming up the last big hill before our turnoff, I looked ahead to see an oncoming car, in my lane, the driver, a woman, deeply absorbed in her cell phone in her hand. Time went into super sonic speed and my reaction was first to lay on the horn and the only other option in the short period of time before the impending impact was to drive off the road onto the shoulder to let her pass. I don't really think she knew or noticed. Jack didn't say and it admittedly took a while for my blood pressure and fury to subside at the stupidity of this person who was so nearly the cause of my demise. Of all the ways to die, that ranks right up there with the ridiculous. Of all the near touches with danger in my days, to die at the wheel because of some bimbo checking her email or dialing a number while going down the road, would have made me a ghost to be reckoned with in the after life.

Once safely back on the farm, the remains of the afternoon were sweet. Only two weeks ago we sweltered in 96 degree temps while riding our horses in the dressage clinic with Jeff Moore. At long last the weather gods have smiled and long sleeves and flannel are the garb of choice to wear. I actually got 4 horses ridden/worked the other day, didn't break a sweat at all, and had gobs of energy left over to do other farm projects, but didn't bother.

The tea olive shrubs at each end of the front porch are just beginning to bloom now, but already the tiny white flowers are filling all the air in the front yard with a heavenly smell that never fails to bring back my memories of Mrs. Holding's kindergarten school playground and getting to finger paint. The only colors we used at this time of year were orange and brown and the theme of course was Halloween. There was such a delicious joining of the tactile joy of getting to finger paint and the smell of these shrubs, combining with the anticipation of the upcoming trick or treating night to come. How many pumpkins and witches on broomsticks did I gleefully paint while inhaling the powerful scent of these shrubs I have no idea. The memory remains ingrained in my brain, and is as strong as the scent, and is just as sweet.

It has been almost a year since I began writing this blog thing. From the stats feature I have seen that I have readers in places all over the world and I wonder at what they must think about what my life and dribblings about it must seem like to them. I reread some of my previous posts today, and both laughed and cried, and am glad that I have had a place to put down in some form that which has transpired in my farm world in the past months. Just hope to keep staying out of the path of oncoming cell phone drivers for a few more so I ride more horses, paint more pictures, cook, garden, write, and continue to enjoy this world I share with my wonderful friends, family, and critters.

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