Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Dependence is Great

Now that the situation is over, I am able to share it. It was too scary to think about while it was going on. You see, I almost lost Maisie.

I had let her go outside to potty, as usual. She walked the perimeter of the yard, sniff each fence post and then went to "her spot" to take care of her "business."  I shut the door, knowing she'd let me know when she was finished. Everything was as it always was. Nothing was different or out of the ordinary. Then, I heard the most horrible noise.

I opened the door to look and giant lab/German Shepherd had my Maisie by the neck. I screamed for my husband as I tried to scramble down the steps to save her. Once I was close enough, I started hitting the stray with my cane. All I could see was black fur and blood.

My husband arrived and began pulling the dog off of Maisie. He was caught off balance and fell backwards. The dog ran off and jumped the fence - probably how he got in the yard to begin with.

Maisie was shaking and bleeding. We live in the country and getting into town to our vet would take some time. It didn't look like Maisie had much time. My husband scooped her up and ran into the house with her. I stood in the yard, holding my bloody cane, so afraid I might lose Maisie.

I managed to get in the house. My husband was barking orders at our daughter to get her shoes on and searching for something to wrap Maisie in. I sat on the couch and held her. I used my sweatshirt that was on the couch to cover her up. My husband arrived with a giant towel and wrapped Maisie up. He tossed my sweatshirt on the floor. I looked at it. It was covered in blood.

Before I got sick and became disabled, I had spent years working as the Public Relations Coordinator for an animal shelter/rescue. I had done much more than just PR; I had worked every job there - including assisting the veterinarian with procedures and surgeries. I tried to remember what to do with injured animals - check their wounds, stop the bleeding and keep them still. I couldn't remember any of it. All I could think was that Maisie was bleeding to death in my lap.

What seemed like hours passed before we got to the vet. I sat in the car and held Maisie, talking to her and telling her everything was going to be okay. I didn't sound very convincing. Siobhann was crying and so was my husband.

The vet saw her immediately. She gave her a sedative and began cleaning her wounds. I sat in the procedure room and watched all of it. I couldn't leave her.

My head was running through all the times she had saved me. Like the time I fell in the WalMart parking lot and she grabbed a man by the pants leg and brought him to me. I also remembered the time Siobhann pulled away from me in the grocery store and Maisie "barked in circles" around her, forcing everyone to look. I knew I wouldn't be able to survive without her.

The vet finished stitching up Maisie and put her in my lap. She said something about how everything was going to be okay, but all I heard was the soft whimpering coming from my lap.

Maisie is fine now. All of her stitches have been removed and she is almost back to her old self. She doesn't run and jump with Siobhann the way she did before. I think she is still a bit sore. She does comes running when I fall and helps me work through my anxiety attacks. Maisie still fetches things for me, but she is a bit slower than normal.

Her recovery has been a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to Maisie. I was able to take her medication to her. I talked to her as she tried to rest. I brought her pillows and blankets. For the first time in our relationship, I was able to help her.

I can't imagine my life without her. Maisie is more than just my service dog. She is one of my best friends. Maisie is there for me, no matter what - even when she is hurt. I knew I was dependent on her for so many things, but I didn't realize how much until she was hurt. There are few things I am able to do without her and even more things she makes so much easier for me.

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