Monday, August 13, 2007

Just Another Service

Living with these wonderful crazy dogs with disabilities has given us a new appreciation for many things.

Every time I try to pivot in the kitchen in an effort to execute some amazing culinary move and find that my foot is pinned under Skeeter, instead of getting frustrated, I remind myself of the short time we have together, and that some day I will miss not tripping and falling over her as I move across the room.

As we crawl around with a Clorox wipe-up and try to erase the blood splatter from Emmett’s tail off the appliances, newly discovered Pepto-Bismol shrapnel from the walls, or crusty drool from anywhere and everywhere, I think of all the messes and laughter we will share in the next weeks and months, and hope for years.

Mercy, in particular, has given us a sense of urgency and appreciation. When we adopted her, we had not realized that her prognosis was so glum. At our last visit, our Vet announced that she has outlived his prognosis by a good six months, and appears to be going strong. Aside from being the one who made me fall irretrievably in love with Danes, Mercy is the one who our Vet crouched in front of and proclaimed, “I can tell now, you are going to break my heart.” And she will. All of ours. And to be clear, I would do it a million times over for her.

In the meantime, she muddles on, seemingly nonplussed by her repetitive sit-and-spins, spills and shenanigans. When she decides it is time to get from point A to point B, there is nothing that is going to stop her, not these gangly, unworkable back legs, not solid objects in her pathway, and definitely not embankments. Through the amazing work of her original foster family, Mercy was essentially taught to walk, because she does not have the neurology to make it happen otherwise. Since coming here, she has developed some other adaptations, including the moves we refer to as the “sit-and-spin,” the “fishtail,” and the “bunny hop.”

When she comes careening down the path, her ability to control and most importantly, to stop, is nonexistent. Thankfully, the adage that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks turns out to be patently false, as we have been able to teach Coffee and Skeeter the commands for “run!” “watch out!” and “get out of the way!” since Mercy’s arrival.

So really it can be said that Mercy has made us much more appreciative of our neurological functioning in general. More specifically, however, Mercy has taught us of one other terrible consequence of not being able to feel or really to control the parts of our bodies below our torso.

Mercy is a world-class, unannounced, uninhibited flatulence machine. We are beyond being offended. We are beyond thinking that it is the food, or nerves, or barometric pressure. She can’t feel her hind end, and so anything goes, and since she is holding nothing back, it goes quite loudly.

I wish I could quit giggling each time she does it, but it always serves as a reminder of another thing we will miss when she is gone. I have thought about that line from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where they say that each time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings. I wonder if there is a similar deal for Mercy’s eruptions. I would like to think that each time Mercy farts, a Dane finds a forever family. Somehow I doubt there is that robust an adoption market.

Random, flatulence-induced giggles, just another service we provide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh for crying out loud... NOW I'm giggling!?! Farts make me giggle! I love that... I can hear them now! EV.