In my lifetime there have been few things that I could give my unwavering faith. Faith is a risk and sometimes it's just too damn hard to make the leap. People tend to let you down, maybe not always on purpose but the result is still the same - mistrust. Once, I took a leap of faith with no forethought or fear of what may come. Once I placed my faith in a male as if he were the last living creature on this earth with the power to heal me. I let him near my broken self, and as I wrapped my arms around his little body, he wrapped his heart around mine. Ten years ago I adopted a dog. A furry little brown ball of energy who chewed on my toes and ripped my shoes to shreds. Jacob Marley was my beacon of hope.

Yesterday I went to pick up my dog from the borders where he stayed while I went home for Easter. When I arrived they told me that they had trouble getting him to walk. "What do you mean," I cried. As I stood there listening to their excuses to what may have happened my heart was sinking farther and farther into the pit of my stomach. Last week I took my dog into the vet to get his hips examined because as a Labrador he's pre-disposed to hip problems. He'd been walking slow and the natural meds I'd been giving him stopped working. Turns out his hips are fine but he has torn ACL's in both of his back legs. I don't know if you have pets but if you do and they are a part of your family like Jake is a part of mine you realize that no matter what the cost - you want them fixed. So I'm standing there listening to my vet tell me that it will cost $1800 per leg, 12 weeks recovery, therapy...but when it's all said and done he'll be good as new and without a flinching I decide that the vacation I planned to Spain will just have to wait. There are things in this life more important than money, more important than vacations, things that matter more - than anything else. So I'd decided to get the surgery for Jake and when I'd dropped him off at the borders I was specific in my instructions that he needed to be walked, he couldn't be caged, he was my baby and they damn well better take care of him. They didn't. I took him back to the vet and they said he had severe muscle cramps from being caged but after a shot of pain meds and some PT he'd get back up again. Yesterday was spent massaging his legs, carrying him out to the yard so he could go to the bathroom, rubbing his belly, kissing his nose, and making sure he knew how much I loved him. Yesterday I discovered that love helps you lift a 90lb dog up into a wagon to wheel him down to the vet, love allows you to never think twice about giving up a vacation you've dreamed about, love makes you wake up at 1, at 3 at 5 in the morning to make sure your very best friend in the whole wide world - isn't in too much pain. Love erases limits.

Jacob Marley is better today, he can walk a little bit and his tail is wagging and I'm here back at work writing this post to all of you. You may deem me silly for having so much dedication to an animal but you see, Jake's my heart. He was the shadow that followed me around in the darkest days of my life reminding me that life would in fact get better. He was the cold nose nudging my face forcing me to get out of bed when nothing else in life could. Some might consider his life insignificant but me...I know better. A beacon of hope is always significant.


  1. Maui said...
    Oh my. I feel everything you wrote. I added a dog to my "friends List" and he is becoming my trusted pal. I had to put down my Oscar in Feb 2004 and almost died from a broken heart and I was in the end stages of my addiction. There was the blaming and the guilt. Can't have that! So I dove deeper, of course. It's what I do. It didn't stop me but I could see the end. Great post. It inspired a thought or two for my "spot".

    Rex said...
    I can totally relate. My two bestest friends mean the world to me. Rocky Balboa and Remy McSwain...they even keep my toes warm at night!
    TJ said...
    It's not silly at all--and this is a beautiful post.

    I'm going to be facing a similar situation soon with our dog, who has developed severe cataracts and is fast becoming almost completely blind.

    But after all of the years of selfless love that he's given to myself and my son, I will do whatever it takes to make him as comfortable as possible while he's still with us...

    Hope Jacob Marley's surgery goes well and that he makes a smooth recovery, and that you find comfort through it all as well.
    Anonymous said...
    ((hugs for Jake))Our pets are souls with no voice but hearts full of love and devotion.
    Thanks for sharing Net,I was so happy to hear that his tail is wagging again!
    kimmyk said...
    I'm bawlin!!!

    I soo getcha NWC! I wouldn't care how much it cost I'd never put my dog down if there was a way to help him and there's always a way if you ask me.

    Good for you and good for Jacob Marley having a mom like you!
    e.e. said...
    oh, sweetie...
    I am SO sorry to here about JM.
    I'll say a doggie-prayer!

    ...you know about my baby, too, right? His hind legs failed him too, more than a month ago.
    His hind legs keep collapsing on him. He falls all over the place.
    OMG it pains me to watch, but I refuse to give up on him too.
    He is 15 years of my life...
    Caterpillar said...
    Oh, NWC, my heart seriously breaks for you, having to watch your sweet Jacob Marley suffering. Pets are so incredibly amazing, they are our babies and are pure love. I'm with you in that I would do anything, spend any amount of money, and give up anything in order to have my babies be healthy and happy. And you are so incredibly wonderful, too, for staying home with him and healing him a little with your love. And I'm also so incredibly pissed off at the idea that the borders were causing him so much pain - I wish I could go scream at those people!

    I'm going to be thinking about your Jake for a long time and hoping to hear really good news.
    Christine said...
    The way you write and think/feel--connects me to you too.

    Hope Jacob Marley is good today and God gives you the strength to be ok when Jacob Marley is not.

    love you today--

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