Doing the drama dance

Dog gone it

Maybe Suki is always sending me messages, but this week I actually heard them.

It started Sunday night when I noticed she was lagging on her walks, fluffy tail down, just not herself. Her hair is getting longer (yes, hair, not fur), and I wondered if it might be too long and she needed a top knot. When I tried to put it up, she wouldn’t let me. That’s when I learned one eye was clearly infected and the other one too, only less so.

I let her sleep for a bit on the couch in the den, but when she didn’t get off on her own at bedtime, I went over to pick her up. She wriggled out of my arms and fell awkwardly about four-inches onto the floor. Poor girl. Really not feeling well.

Dog sends message loud and clear

By the morning, her condition had worsened. When I called her for breakfast, she tried to get up but her hind legs simply scrambled and scattered on the floor. It was heart-wrenching and sent me into that adrenaline fight or flight mode that looked like this:

  • Where can I go for help?
  • How do I get her there?
  • Worry: is her leg broken? Her hip? How much pain is she in? How much is this going to cost?  Can I even find a vet on a Remembrance Day stat?
  • Judgment: I can’t believe I dropped her. How could I have done that? What a horrible pet parent I am

My mental process was working, but I so so shut down I couldn’t even see the spiritual truth. There was “no time” for meditating, no “time” for spiritual thinking. Yet the Truth emerged regardless.

Suki’s meds

The journey out of darkness

The receptionist at the emergency vet clinic was wonderful. Gave me great suggestions and helped me feel confident that bed rest was best. If she’s pees on towel, rather than outside, who cares. Just keep her comfortable.

I reached out to a friend (another dog lover), and was offered a ride to the vet. This turned out to be a three-hour exercise between waiting, exams, and xrays during which time he bought me the sweetest sugar-free coffee I’ve ever had because it was filled with so much kindness.

The prognosis – a cyst on one eye, additional infection in both, but no broken bones of any kind. I was handed a bundle of meds and left wondering how to administer eye medication on my own. My sister shared with me how to create a one-person cuddle cage, and that worked wonders.

Spirit moves fast, it’s us who play catch up

The next day, Suki’s left eye was open again. The anti-inflammatory had kicked in and she was walking. 48 hours later, she danced for Dana when he returned home. There was no wincing, no whining, no poor me. Just a quiet resilience and acceptance that all good is waiting once more to be revealed.

Learning the two-step

In the end, it makes me wonder about drama. What is it that compels anyone to seek drama in their life? (I still consider myself in recovery on this one.)

Suki has no drama. I had the drama.

It makes me think that what I crave is to see the truth, and when I can’t see it I seek out drama to reveal it – the friendships, the bonds, the kindness, the resilience, the caring.

That’s the two-step I’m doing – in and out of drama.

My work is to see all this without the drama. Because it’s already there.

Dog is with me.

Rev. Karin
Karin Wilson is the Spiritual Director at the Centre for Spiritual Living Yaletown in Vancouver, BC. A writer as well as spiritual coach, Karin spent more than 20 years as a journalist contributing thousands of articles to a wide range of media, including CBC Radio's The Current, Daybreak Kelowna, and The World at Six. In 2015 her voyage to Haida Gwaii was featured in Science of Mind magazine.