Wednesday, 10 June 2009

being prepared,chicken soup, and leftover sandwiches.

You cant prepare for everything.
Trust me, I know. I've been trying to for a year or so, and its an upstream swim all the way.

Theres so much crapola to prepare for, that there just isnt enough money in the stimulus bill to get everything you need to be prepared for everything.
As it stands, I'm prepared for power outages, prison breaks, food shortages, fuel shortages, break ins (dont EVER walk in my house unannounced), and bad guys in general.
I didnt forget about all the crazy stuff Ive been telling you all about, I'm just redirecting my focus and energies (that, and the bunker is packed so tight I can barely get the concrete lid back on).
I was going to write of past and recent events that pretty much validate my preparedness "kick", but then something else came up.
Something I was "prepared" for, sort of,
but not how events played out.
So much for planning, I guess is the message.

About 30 years ago or so, I had a labrador retriever named nittany, who was really the smartest dog anyone could hope to have as a first dog. Her intellect gave me the confidence to train other labs, because she made it easy.
I could fill a zillion pages of bandwidth (whatever) with stories of things we shared together, and some were pretty good, but I'll fast-forward to the part of the past where she was about to die.
She was in pain at age 15+, and that was the deciding factor in my decision to "take her to the vet". I made a call to my vet, who was also a friend, who knew this dog well, and the appt. was made for the next day.
Nittany was in pain so much that moving her head as she lay caused her to yelp, loudly.
The evening I made the appointment, I lifted her onto a couch cushion, and held her head as she lapped up some chicken soup we made for her.
She lapped it up, and I put her head down, and that, I thought, was that.
The next day, I went to where she was laying, only to find her sitting up, with her tail going "thump thump thump" on the floor.
Well, thats all well and good, but we had this appointment........................
In the truck we both went, but before we made the final stop, we stopped for something we both enjoyed, Ice cream. It was just like the good old days, I held the cone, and she gobbled it up like a T-Rex popping a lawyer off a commode (a little movie reference there)
*poof*, like a fairy, it was gone. After the ice cream stop, we went to the spot where we launched my boat a thousand times to hunt for ducks. I carried her down the ramp, and set her down just outside of the water. She hobbled in, and stood there and looked out over the water. I KNEW she knew where she was. She lapped up a few tongue-fulls, and then I put her back in the truck, and off we went to the appointment.
She walked into the vets office, which was a great improvement for her from just a day ago, and when our name was called to see the doctor, I told him, "I made this appointment because she was in pain", then preceded to tell him about our errand run, and that she doesnt appear to be in pain now. .........
"I gave her some chicken soup last night, you think it had anything to do with her improvement", I asked?
"Couldn't hurt" the good doctor said.
So we both walked out of the doctors office, with a new secret weapon in hand.
A year or so later, she died in the night, at our current home.

I have this other old lab now. Zoe. She is also somewhere around 15 or 16 years old, and in failing health. She is deaf, has cataracs, and cant manage steps too well anymore. I dont even close the gate on the porch anymore because she goes potty often, and just hobbles in the yard, and hobbles back on the porch.
The other day, she stopped her "gakking" which was quite comical to hear, if you werent the one doing the gakking. It sounded like a grizzly bear gettin goosed. Except scarier.
The other morning before work, I carried her down the steps, so she could do her thing in the yard.
I told my wife to check and make sure she can get back up, and she said she made it back up by herself, and was there when she had to go run some errands herself.
When she came home, Zoe wasnt on the porch, but she often wasnt on the porch.
But this time she wasnt hobbling in the grass.
So my wife went down by the creek to see if she went down ther for a drink. Nope. She checked the entire property, and no sign of the old, hobbling deaf labrador. She checked high and lo, and no zoe.
I came home from work, and expanded the search to include water search and rescue, but she wasnt in the creek, nor anywhere downstream, either.
I knew she was going to leave this earth soon, but I thought I'd at least be able to bury her, or stroke her head, or something.
So much for plans.

So the day after she went missing, I came home from work, grabbed my lunchbox, and headed up the porch stairs.
Opening the box to take out the extra sandwich I usually have, and I hold it, realizing that there is no one to give it to anymore.
The new house-pet yip yip dog wanted it, but the new kids pet never plunged enthusiastically into icy water, to get MY dead ducks. She never made me feel important, or taught me anything.

I threw the sandwich in the garbage.

10 o'Clock today, on the jobsite, it hit me.

I could eat my extra sandwich today.
And I finally cried.

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