Doodle “Thanks”

My precious pooch of fluffy white will go through surgery tomorrow morning to repair a torn meniscus and ACL in his left rear leg.  Yes, this doodle dog of mine seems to be living with “Chronic Conditions.”  Like me and others in my family.  This will be his third surgery on two of his four fuzzy legs within the last three years.  It will be followed by another eight weeks of rehab here at my home.  When I asked the vet if I had any other possible options, there was only one.  “You could put him down,” she said, adding “I don’t think you want to do that.”

Obviously the good doctor is right.  No, I do not want to put my Doodle dog “down” simply because he had an accident with his leg.  I am his mother in a way.  Several years ago, when this four pound cream puff climbed into my lap, up my arm and licked my face…he stole my heart along the way.  How can I put a price on that?  No way….

So tomorrow at 8 am, Doodles will be dropped off at a little building of red brick and burnished stone with windows of bright light.  There, he’ll silently sleep while the skill of a surgeon’s hands will repair his injured leg.

Doodles would like to thank everyone for their best wishes and prayers.  No more pain, no more surgeries….ever.  Please????

Cute Bichon Frise puppy sitting on grey background

Prayers for “Doodle” Dog

Upon returning from vacation last Saturday evening, I learned of my beloved “Doodle” dog’s injury. Opening the door to plop overstuffed bags down on my entry tile floor, a familiar howl of excitement greeted me.  There he was!  A fluffy white head cocked to the side as if to say, “Where have you been?  “Why did you leave me?”

Doodles did not jump upon my leg in order to be petted or picked-up as expected …a telltale sign.  Instead, dark eyes stared wide and open, misty even…pleading in puppy-dog communication.  His nose, normally jet black and moist to the touch appeared coca-brown, uneven in color.  Bending down for a kiss, it felt warm and slightly rough upon my lips gentle brush.  A few seconds later, Doodles limped away from me.

It was midnight, what could I do?  Doodles lay upon my bed the whole night through.  A few hours later, the first appointment available was made at the vet for 10:00 pm.  There was nothing to be done except to make him as comfortable as possible and wait.  Sunday near midnight, I learned of the extent of Doodles injury.  In fairness to our pet sitter, she texted me earlier in the week to let me know that he had been running when suddenly he stopped with a short yelp.  Afterwards, he started limping.  It wasn’t her fault and she certainly didn’t know how serious it was.  Accidents happen.

My dog-baby has completely torn most of the ligaments in his left-rear leg and blown his ACL.  I’d like to believe otherwise, but most likely he will need surgery.  An appointment is made to see a specialist and surgeon early next week.  Until then, he’s on medication, sleeping on a fuzzy fleece bed to the side of my half-moon desk.

Normally, I take this kind of news in stride except Doodles has already had two surgeries on a different leg at two different times for the same reason.  Two surgeries, two months of rehab (each), lots of $$$$ with a tremendous risk, a lot of pain, and no guarantees…ever.  I’m used to living with “Chronic Conditions,” but my “Doodle” dog?  Ironic it is and yet….not so much.   So, here I go again, what to do?

Doodles is a member of my family.  He rises with me in the dawn of morn to sit beneath my desk until the dusk of night.  He follows behind me trotting to the coffee pot, not caring if my bathrobe is scraggly or that my hair isn’t combed.  He cherishes a ride in my convertible and loves to feel wind whisper fluffy white fur atop his cotton candy head. Glancing at him in side view mirrors, a smile spreads across my face to see such euphoria.  Each passing car toots a horn at the sight of such pooch delight!

During each and every day, Doodles sits upon my lap to watch fingers tap letters from black keys, cocking his head in wonder as they move up and down.  Sometimes a fresh groomed paw will push them away, stopping the flow.  When it does, I scoop him up.

With a furry body of four long legs together with tender paws, we seek an adventure in the out of doors.  Together, we breathe fresh air deep into our lungs while feeling the warmth of the sun.  He stops to sniff hidden scents under dark green shrubbery along chipped sidewalk paths of poured cement while walking on a leash, frayed and painted in our team of “Cardinal” red.  Happy, he is.

That’s all I want for my “Doodle” dog.  Happiness…and to live and walk again without an ounce of pain.



God’s Treasured Gifts

My dreams are often like a drifting boat on a charcoal sea.  A lifeline is attached, teasing me.  While treading water my arms reach out as far as they can go.  Far, far out.  Farther still.  Spitting water, I struggle while grasping at nothing.  Is it the dream or the lifeline that calls out to me?   Then, with one more wave washing over, I’m under.  When I surface, my dream together with the boat has disappeared…..



Scars are not injuries, Tanner Sack.  A scar is healing.  After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.”

China Mieville, The Scar

Thank you to all who gave their time, their thoughts, their folded hands in prayer.  My “family member” of 13 years had surgery early yesterday.  The lengthy surgery left a long and lasting scar.  Some will likely point their bony fingers, shake their shaggy heads or simply shy away.  Instead, my family member praises God today.  His leg has been saved.  The scar signifies his “wholeness.” There was a chance it wouldn’t be this way.

Now we pray to God, for healing, for the massive infection to be cured, to go away.  We pray for strength, for courage, for faith and perseverance.  It will not be easy.  Even if all goes well there is a long and winding road ahead.  Please light his path, be his guide, take his hand….

“A scar is what makes you whole.”

Sedona Mountainside and "Hidden" Chu...

Sedona Mountainside and “Hidden” Church of the Holy Cross

God Heals All Things

On our third day home from the hospital it became apparent that my newborn, Justin, was very ill.  A mother knows. When a hungry baby begins to nurse, he is soothed and all is well.  My son jerked away in pain.  He wailed loud with frustration while flailing his arms and legs between the instinct of hunger and the pain of prevention.  Unable to fill his need, my heart quickened at his agony.

With my husband out-of-town, my parents drove me back to the hospital of his birth.   My “big baby” looked like a miniature doll once he was placed in a large hospital crib.  Nurses and aids surrounded him; taking tests, doing measurements, and writing notes on clipboards.  My heart broke whenever a needle was stuck into his unsuspecting heel.  It was like squeezing blood from a turnip. Each time I caught sight of the  white-coated lady from the lab, I rushedto protect my new son.   Even if only to hold his clenched fist or whisper sweet nothings into his ear.  He knew my voice and for a second on the clock, a sense of calmness came over him.

My baby son was born with a tiny tear in his ureter, allowing urine to seep into his stomach whenever he “relieved” himself.  Eventually infection took over his infant body which caused him great pain.  To make him well, I would drop pink medicine into his mouth from a dropper for the first year of his life.  Much like a mother bird feeds her young while in the nest of tall trees whispering in the wind.  Doctors hoped the tear would heal itself as they often do.

With only hours to go before my baby’s discharge, my body was attacked by ravaging pain in the darkness of the night.  Truly, I felt like I might die.  The pediatric wing was hushed quiet with baby’s sleeping breaths.  Somehow, I made it to the nurses station where I asked the little gal in green to please take me down to ER.  Looking at me in disbelief, she wondered briefly if I might have another “baby in my tummy?”

I would think this was an unbelievable story if it hadn’t happened to me.  Only days after giving birth by c-section and tending to my sick infant, I was re-admitted for my second surgery.  My gallbladder needed to be removed as soon as possible!  Two days later, I went home to the open arms of my little Jayson waiting patiently for his mother and new baby brother in the open door jamb.  Never was I so grateful to be home, to have my family “whole” again.   Our ribbon had come loose and quickly needed to be re-tied.  God had blessed me by giving me the strength to get through.  He had answered my prayers in so many ways.

In so many ways…..

“Mommy, I Can Hear You!”

During all of those pediatric check-ups when Jayson was young, his doctor often treated him for ear infections: Otitis Media. Edging closer to the age of two, his speech became leclear.  As his mother, I could understand the baby words he babbled, but others could not.  I took offense to this.  “Why not, ” I wondered?

After a prescription of  ‘pepto-pink’ liquid, my little one had about three weeks free from tugging on ears full of fluid.  It wasn’t quite a month before pain began, again.  Sure enough,  infection lurked under a crib to target places not meant to be.   Finally, in the warm spring of Arizona, I held my young son’s hand to visit a specialist in the hopes of hearing the future.

Jayson wore a small set of headphones in a space about the size of a London phone booth.  There, he listened to several sounds, all of them ‘muffled.’   His new doctor  recommended surgery to put tubes in his ears.  A ‘drainage system’ of sorts to prevent liquid from collecting bacteria.  Everything in Jayson’s world was heard much differently than the average little guy.   Like, sounds under the sea…..

A few weeks later, my angelic one came out of recovery after ear surgery.  Before long, he sat up to suck on a red lollypop while sipping water through a curly, yellow straw.  His daddy  took us home where we watched “Big Bird” VHS movies while resting on a flowered sofa.  Thanks to God, and the skill of a surgeon’s hands, my first-born son never had another ear infection in whole of his life.


“A Mother’s Heart Is Always With Her Children”