Sadie speaks to me. Well, not in so many words. Well, not in any words, but she is constantly teaching. I like it when I remember to learn.
One morning last week was much like most mornings - pretty great, actually. We had dropped off the kids at school and were running errands. Sadie was overjoyed to be riding along, resting with the hum of the engine and feeling the warm sun beat down on her head. Often she shows 'overjoyed' with a good nap. (She's easy to read.)
We stopped off before home at the enchanted forest near our house. That's what I call it, because it is way too beautiful to be called a vacant lot and because it is very fun to know (even if no one else knows) that I visit an enchanted forest every day with my dog. There are flowers and signs of long ago life there for me and there are smells and grasses and space for Sadie. We really like it.
You get the picture. It was a great morning.
We got home and began the rituals of the early day - the trash, the mess, the laundry, the usual. As I was gathering the trash to take to the street, Sadie was cut by something (I've never been able to find) right under my nose. She yelped once and then ran along as usual. When we got inside, though, I realized she was very different. She was nervous and hurting. A further glance found the blood along her leg, and I knew we had to go to the vet.
Bother. Expense. Pain. Distraction. We both thought our thoughts about the inconvenience of this whole escapade and we both remembered how awesome our little morning had been just minutes before. Bummer.
We went to see the nice vet. They took care of sweet Sadie. They stapled the cut on her leg; and even though stapling doesn't sound like a nice thing to do, I rested assured that she was in good hands. The vet went over the drill. She explained what I'd need to do, when we would come back, what medicine to take. We had it. Sadie stopped shaking for the first time in a couple of hours when she got safely back in my arms and we headed home.
That's when Sadie started teaching.
She glanced at me from the back seat and assured me that everything was all right. She showed me she wasn't shaking anymore and she got comfortable. I learned.
She hurt a bit, but she got back to her main activity at home - sleep. Sadie is a perfect, world champion sleeper. It is a marvel to behold. She does it well.
I learned as I watched her reevaluate her situation and figure out a way to do what needed doing.
Then came the really hard part for me. After twenty four hours, I had to remove the bandage and put on the awful, cruel lampshade. Uggghhhhhh. This implement of misery that I had laughed at when I saw it on other dogs wasn't funny at all when I had to be the one to snap it into place around her neck.
She was scared to death. She ran into walls constantly. She thought she was being threatened from both sides. She looked hard into my eyes and willed me to explain why I had done what I'd done. She was miserable. I was miserable.
She taught me more, though, when she quickly forgot I did it to her. She doesn't hold onto bitterness long. She doesn't keep score. She went on with her life.
It was hard and uncomfortable and strange, but she did what she needed to do. She bumped into every wall she passed for at least three days. She had trouble eating. She constantly thought something was after her. It was hard to watch, but I kept learning.
Sadie was long past wondering and worrying about why it happened or who did it to her. She was well into living the life she lives. She had to work hard, but she made it all work. All of her usual routines had to be adapted a bit. She did that. I learned.
She is a good teacher. She keeps on showing.
We are a week into this thing. Some call it a 'lampshade.' Some call it the 'dome of doom.' And others laugh and call her Queen Elizabeth or Laura Ingalls Wilder. She's fine with all that. She doesn't like it, but she has made it work. She didn't ask for it, but she is dealing with it.
I know when the dome of doom gets removed. I know that she only has three more days. That's not information she is privy to, but she's all right anyway. She makes it work. She teaches.
She does more 'walking the walk' than 'talking the talk.' She's a great teacher. I'm sure I miss a lot of lessons out there for the taking, but I'm mighty thankful when I recognize them.
Sadie leads on from inside the dome of doom . . .
teaching us about things that we know but forget to remember.