In the last week I’ve come face to face with the unpredictability and preciousness of life.
On Friday my dog became ill with what the vet has termed a ‘vestibular event,’ or, to my mind, a stroke. She was absolutely fine on Thursday night, bouncing around like her usual lively self, only to wake up the next morning shivering uncontrollably, arching her back and looking very disorientated and confused. After a restless hour of pacing, she settled into her bed and slept all day. As she has a diagnosis of (well controlled) epilepsy, I immediately thought this was related to a non-obvious seizure and as such she would sleep it off. Sadly, this was not the case, as on Saturday morning she was the same. To cut a long story short, two trips to the vet later and there is clearly something wrong with her heart that requires an ultrasound scan, due to take place on Tuesday. In the meantime she has stabilised somewhat but is weak and exercise intolerant. Mornings are far worse; she seems to be experiencing a rapid heart rate on moving which calms down a bit later in the day. She is eating and drinking independently and normally but is having to rest, rest, rest. She manages a very slow walk around outside but not for long or it sets her symptoms off again.
Needless to say, this has all been incredibly stressful and scary. My dog has always been healthy for her age (almost 12) and until last week was walking for an hour most days, divided into two walks, and was always full of energy and enthusiasm. Seeing her how she is, clearly confused about what has happened to her, is very difficult to deal with. She is my constant companion and has been for eight years. I would not even be about to put into words how much I love my dog. She was there with me when my Dad died. She came into my life at a desperately painful time. Even her name ‘Zoey’ means life, as to me, she really did represent a new life.
This last week has reminded me on a whole new level that life is always fragile, and whatever we attach to we will lose eventually; such is the nature of life. All we can do is be reminded of the preciousness of times shared, deep in the understanding that they cannot last in the way we wish them to. I can only hope that my dog makes a decent recovery with time and medication, but if she does not, I am finding comfort in knowing how deeply I have always loved her and how much she has given me. And that maybe the sparks of Consciousness that are her and me will find each other again one day, in a new way.