It’s difficult, isn’t it? To get back into the swing of things once something happens that knocks the wind out of you?
Since last week, we’ve been adjusting to this new normal in our lives, and tending to a dog who has a lot of special needs while she heals and adapts. It takes extra time in the morning to give her medicine, take her outside, and feed her breakfast. She can’t easily bend down to reach her bowls without losing her balance. She can’t simply be “let out,” we have to carry her down the steps, make sure she doesn’t move around too much, and watch her struggle to balance as she does her business. We are happy to do it, but it is an adjustment…and every time I do it, somewhere in the back of my mind I think, “I shouldn’t have to be doing this because THIS SHOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED.” It’s hard to watch a dog go from the most lithe, rambunctious thing you’ve ever seen to a clumsy pup with an awkward bunny hop instead of a quick gait. And it’s especially hard to not be angry about how it happened.
With any loss, there are stages of grief. We’re having a hard time realizing we can’t take her for walks or runs right now. She was Michael’s running buddy, happily jumping up to give him “high fives” during their run. He misses that. We miss her being able to easily jump on and off the couch and play with Pancho and a hundred other things she will probably be able to do again, but never quite the same way.
I’ve experienced so much anger over this entire situation, and especially towards the woman and her dog. I spoke harshly to the woman the day I asked her to have her dog assessed. When I hear her dogs bark, anger overwhelms me. When I see her, I am frustrated. I want to make the whole thing disappear, for Leia’s leg to magically grow back, and for this whole thing to have never happened. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. I struggle with hating this house, this yard, and us moving to Louisiana. Drastic, I know — but if we hadn’t moved here, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s tough.
Every day, it gets a little better. Tuesday was the first day I didn’t ugly cry, just a couple of tears. Leia has to be sedated right now to keep her from moving around so much — which is a good sign, that she wants to move and get back to normal, but it’s not good for her healing process. However, the sedation is difficult, because she is constantly drugged, giving her the appearance of being ill. I hate it.
I need to forgive the woman, the situation. I need to accept that this happened and there’s nothing that can be done about it. I need to stop going OVER AND OVER the million tiny things we could have done or should have done to prevent this from happening. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. I need to look for blessings (because they’re everywhere), teachable moments, and inspiration. Leia is a miracle, and her missing leg is a daily reminder of that.
Once her stitches come out and she’s off the meds, I think that’s when the real healing (physical and emotional) will begin. When we see that she can do everything she could do before, just a little differently. When her personality is back full-force and she’s running and jumping all over the place again.
Until then, I’m going to focus on the good, try to forgive, and work on letting go and moving on. If Leia can act like she never even had a fourth leg and adjust like a freaking champ to her new tripawd state, then so can I.
Any advice you have for me in dealing with this type of situation would be greatly appreciated!