EMPTY NEST by Curt Swarm

Buddy's Brush with death


Leaving the veterinarian's office, carrying Buddy wrapped in a blanket, his head barely peeking out, a person coming into the vet's office said, “Ah, poor Buddy!”  I realized people, a total stranger in this case, actually know our pets: Buddy, our dog, and Stormy, our tomcat, because I occasionally talk about them in my Empty Nest Column. 
Buddy had suddenly become violently sick, defecating and vomiting all over the place.  I have never seen an animal so sick!  At 13 years old, I thought he was dying.  Ginnie accompanied me with Buddy to the vet's office because we thought Buddy might need to be euthanized.  Gulp.  Visions were going through my mind of where I would bury him: in his pen outside the kitchen door?  Naw.  Every time we left the house we would see his grave marker.  In the garden?  Naw.  Too far away.  In the Colorado Blue Spruce wind break.  Yes, that's it.  There are plenty of rabbits there for Buddy to chase.  Oh, man.  This indicates my state of mind. 
We had been on vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and had boarded Buddy and Stormy for 10 days.  In my opinion that was just way too long a time to board a sensitive dog like Buddy.  It had to have stressed him and he came down with a bacterial infection.  The vet tech gave him a number of shots and sent us home with three different meds and a special food.  (BTW: I'm pretty sure we spend more on healthcare for our pets than we do on ourselves.)  Buddy just laid in his pet bed and didn't move, and I mean didn't move, for two days.  Man, did he throw a scare into us!  People, including us, were praying for him.  We also called the kennel and let them know about Buddy's condition.  Had there been problems with any other dogs?  No. 
But then Buddy started to perk up a little, and drank some water, and ate a little of his special food.  He could only stand on three legs.  I think lying in that same position for so long sort of paralyzed a hind leg.  He eventually started standing on all four.  Whew!  I was having other visions of a three-legged Buddy.
Stormy, our tomcat, was quite jealous of all the attention Buddy was getting.  A spiritual healer friend told us it was important for us to lay hands on Buddy and tell him that we loved him and that we wanted him to get better.  When we were doing this, Stormy would crowd in and want to be petted.  Animals can be so human. 
Buddy rebounded, and we breathed a big sigh of relief.  I didn't know I had become so attached to Buddy.  Ginnie knew.  He is more than part of the family, he is like a child.  Buddy has been with me through thick and thin—through a divorce and a couple of relationships.  He's always been there for me.  Even Ginnie says he's the best dog she has ever known. 
On another note, I'm going to be “teaching” creative writing again this winter starting in January.  (The reason “teaching” is in quotation marks is because I've found you don't “teach” creative writing.  You just get out of the way and let students write, then critique their work in a friendly, constructive manner.)  Winter is a great time to stay indoors, let the imagination run rampant, and write.  We will meet on Saturday afternoons at Ginnie's and my house east of Mt. Pleasant, for six Saturdays.  Some amazing writing has been produced in these classes.  Numerous books, poetry and even movie scripts have been published.  I limit the class to six serious wannabe writers.  If you are interested in attending, my contact information is usually at the end of this column.  The pen (or laptop) is mightier than the sword (or AK-47).  

Curt Swarm, editorial, weekly, column, Empty Nest, dog, Pen city Current, Buddy,


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here