Monday, August 2, 2010
American Dog - Corky, a Portrait of Compassion
But life can change at a moment’s notice and the best laid schemes of mice an’ men (and turkey) would have to wait. Life had other plans for us.
It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we found ourselves in the emergency room waiting for my father to be assigned a room because he was having heart trouble.
As the experts paraded through his hospital room and the results of testing drew a portrait of someone who may not make it back home, a sadness that shouldn’t be a part of any holiday cast a shadow on all of us but most of all, my mother.
My father’s care was escalated to one of the finest hospitals in Boston and we completed the daily pilgrimage into Boston to visit and learn more about their plans to help him. At night we would drive home after hours of stressful doctor visits, mounting fear, and plans for surgical intervention with months of recovery.
I couldn’t remember a time when I saw my mother so sad and scared. As the situation became more concerning and plans had to be made in the event he didn’t survive the surgery, there was little comfort to be gained from anywhere; although my Mom did find one source of comfort.
As the weeks took their toll and became months of evaluation, surgery and recovery, daily round trip sojourns to Boston, and life had been sufficiently turned on its axis, each night my Mother would go to the same spot in our family room and call Corky to her. She would hold Corky and sometimes cry, sometimes laugh at his goofiness, and sometimes just get lost in her connection with him.
Corky, a dog that was always up for a game or some exercise, would forgo his own agenda and just rest his head so gently on her lap and provide that comfort to her.
My mother is gone, my father survived and Corky is approaching his 13th birthday. As a Super Senior Canine Citizen, we see the effects of age. He can’t see very far, his arthritis limits his exercise, and bully sticks are no longer tempting. He smiles broadly and often and wags his tail with the energy first witnessed when we rescued him as a ten week old puppy who was dropped in the woods in late December to fend for himself, assumed to be an unwelcome Christmas present at his first address from the red ribbon still wrapped his neck when he was found.
He is an integral part of our family and has left his own indelible mark on the chapters of our lives. We are blessed to have him as part of our family for he has proven in the roughest of times that he has our back and now in the twilight of his life, we have his.