Jilly suddenly began walking on three legs while we were out at the park last Sunday. I couldn’t figure out how she got injured, and our vet was closed until Tuesday because it was a holiday weekend. I thought she must have somehow dislocated her right hip, and we went in for x-rays on Tuesday. I was surprised to find out that her hips and patellae are totally normal; in fact, they are “excellent.” But on exam, she had a positive drawer, knee movement she’s not supposed to have, meaning she has a torn cruciate ligament.
Because she is so small and weighs only twenty pounds, she may recover on her own and not need surgery, so the plan is watchful waiting to see if she improves. No more walks for probably six months. She already seems improved and is touching the foot down now, but she is on pain medication, so she may or may not really be getting better. The horrible thing is that with or without surgery, she will develop arthritis in that leg. She will be taking glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for the rest of her life to try to minimize this. I take those myself to keep my joints healthy; I’m getting older, and so many people younger than I am are needing joint replacements, but I’m sad because Jilly, who lives to chase balls, is suddenly an old lady now at age three.
Somebody remarked at the dog park that Jilly is a badger. He definitely had her pegged, with her prickly, bossy little self. She sleeps on her back most of the time and even looks like a badger.
Corgis are bossy little dogs. She struts around on her stumpy little legs, swishing her furry butt with its little nubbin of a tail, and she never lets Kieran get away with anything, but with me, she’s a great companion and follows my lead—most of the time. But I’ve just had two very bad days in a row at work—almost walked off the job, but only almost. From an assertive energy standpoint, I was more like the half-dead earthworms I’ve been rescuing than the leader of our pack. Jilly noticed and decided to implement a step-by-step strategy to take over the position of pack leader. This morning, she attacked Kieran to get him under control once and for all, but I jumped between them and she had to back off. She got me back, though–on our walk to the park, she slipped out of her collar and ran off down the street. I called and called, but instead of coming to me, she ran to a tiny lady out for a walk all bundled up in coat and gloves and jumped up on her, then ran into a neighbor’s yard, and he grabbed her. She was having so much fun—she had a big grin on her face and I swear she was laughing. I got her back on leash and decided to assert my own leadership with obedience commands. Every half-block or so on our way to the park, I would stop and order them to sit. Kieran would sit, and Jilly would stand there giving me a blank look—“Did you say something?” After several more stops, she eventually gave in, and we are back to normal until next time. I’ve got to say, though, that little dog could give me a few lessons in determination.
Last night was Earth Hour 2009. I finished my work shift at 7:30 and gathered up all the candles I had. I decided to meditate during the first half of the hour, so I put down my rug and sage-green Zafu cushion, lit all the candles, turned off the lights, and sat. Jilly the Corgi and Kieran the Schipperke lay down next to me, one on either side. It was a good sit, quiet and peaceful, and so beautiful with all the candles burning and no electric light. I realized I need to do this more often, not just once a year.
It was great to be united with the millions of people all over the globe who were observing Earth Hour, and also, I am part of Tricycle Magazine’s Big Sit meditation community, so although I live by myself, I never felt alone.
It was cold, quiet, and very soggy at the dog park this morning. Jilly wears herself out fetching Chuckit balls while Kieran, not interested in balls, gets down to the serious business of having a whiz on every single tree.
I’m hard at work on the third draft of my novel, and the current chapter has me remembering the 1970 Isla Vista riots all over again. It seems that there were actually three separate episodes with things being somewhat normal in between, but after so many years my memory has compressed it all into one long, scary siege that seemed like it would never end, which is how I wrote it. I’ve been away from the novel for while, and now that I’m going over it again, I see that there are a lot of things that need tweaking.
As soon as the weather gets dryer, I will be getting the camera out to take pictures all over Portland. I have a new one that I’m just learning to use, so that will be fun. And there’s gardening and yard work galore to be done; this promises to be a very busy year despite the work situation getting more and more precarious with each day. I will be on swing shift this coming week because the regular swing shift person will be on vacation.