Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My psychic connection to my dog.

Now that you know all about darling Abby, let me tell you what happened on her big day - spay day! It started innocuously enough in the parking lot of our little Catholic school. One of the joys of small town life is the incestuous nature of our relationships. So we have a vet. He and his family live in our neighborhood. They're also parishioners at the church. And his kids go to school with mine. And The Youngest was on a baseball team with one of his younger ones. And I'm friends with the wife through a Bible study group. And, in fact, Tween was "going out" with one of his daughters for awhile - as much as you can "go out" when you aren't old enough to drive or allowed to see a PG-13 movie. But they were such a cute couple for such a long time that we took to referring to the vet and his wife as "The Future In-Laws". (The ex-Marine has difficulty remembering names so all our conversations refer to people we know by attributes other than names so calling them the Future In-Laws is not nearly as strange as it first sounds. We are not marrying our children off in their Tween years - that's the Irish Travellers and they are in a whole other part of South Carolina.) But do you get the picture of the amount of overlap in our lives? It's that way with EVERYONE here! It's like Kevin Bacon's six degrees of separation minus a few degrees and including the whole town.

So anyway, when you have such overlapping lives, there's no need to actually drive to the vet office, you just slow down in the car drop off line and exchange dogs and kids and whatever else you need to exchange! So Abby got out of my little Honda, into Dr. Former Future In-Law's bigger Honda and off she went to have her surgery. I did this without a qualm of anxiety because Dr. Former Future In-Law is one of those guys that inspires confidence. I knew he'd take care of my baby. And I didn't worry for the whole morning.

I brought my human perspective to the surgery and assumed that it would take place first thing in the morning. After all, anytime I had to go to the hospital, it happened at the crack of dawn. Induce your baby - be here at 6:00am. Remove a small cyst - at least by 6:45. It seems that surgery is best performed when the surgeon is half asleep - maybe that way he or she doesn't get all grossed out by the blood and guts - too tired to think about it yet.

All morning I am work, work, working and not worrying about my puppy at all. But then it hits me. I am overwhelmed with emotion. I am worried. I am scared. I am thinking what a terrible dog mama I am for not having driven Abby to the vet. What kind of unfeeling monster just tosses her from one car to the other on such a big day? And after I have worked myself up into a complete lather, I decide to call and check on her. The perky receptionist answers the phone and tells me, "Oh she just went into surgery a little while ago. Dr. Former Future In-law is operating on Abby RIGHT NOW (emphasis my own - she was not nearly so dramatic)" Right now? How's that for psychic? I have such a mental connection with my puppy that I felt her pain and anxiety from a whole town away.

I should end the post there and just bask in the loving connection that it illustrates. But there's this little basis for comparison that you have to have to get the full effect. Two of my HUMAN family members have been to the emergency room while I was blithely occupied with other things and ....nothing. Not a hint of a thing until the cell phone rang. Dog = physical response, psychic connection. Humans = oh, well, let me stop and buy some candy but I'm on my way. Uh-oh.

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