Tuesday, November 09, 2021


 They say every cloud has a silver lining.

Not sure if that's applicable to what's been happening in our house this week, but it's fair to say that oftentimes something good comes out of something bad.

Our lovely, gentle, kindly golden retriever dog had an accident. She was 'playing' with a bigger dog on the green when she suddenly let out a spine-chilling shriek and went down. The vet diagnosed a ruptured knee ligament in her left hind leg, but when they x-rayed her it was worse; her whole knee was a mess. Result; an emergency op, then home for complete rest. They recommended she be kept sedated in a cage, but that woudn't work, she still too much of a puppy and easily worked up.

So. We built a confined area about 4 foot by six foot in the hall, right next to the front door so she didn't have far to limp for a pee. The vet gave us antibiotics and painkillers and sedatives but, while the sedatives took the edge off her, there was no way she could be left alone. One of us had to be sitting beside her area all day.

And all night.

(Pic not much cop, dog's lying on her right side, tail to the left, nose towards my hands. Sitter is lying on her right side too.)

It's meant that one of us sits an arm's length from her all day. And one of us sleeps, on sofa cushions, on the hall floor, every night. 

We've got this for 6 to 8 weeks, but hoperfully at the end of it, she'll be almost good as new.

Now, to the positive spin-off;

One of our foster brood is hard pushed to develop any empathy.  Not surprising what with the life the child led before Care, a fear of people and a fear of attachment is bound to happen. We've tried anything and everything to get some warmth and…well to be blunt, some kind of love into the child. 

Can't claim any big success. Yet.

The child does have a soft spot for our dog. But the treatment of the dog has been what the child describes as 'playful'. The dog doesn't seem to mind, which is just as well because no matter how hard we've tried to get a gentler approach such as smoothly stroking her rather than ruffling her about, no avail. The child is always deriding the dog as "Stupid", "Fat" and "Ugly". No prizes for guessing where that sort of talk was learned.

Then, the morning after her op, the child came downstairs to see us flat out next to the dog's area. We were in our PJs and dressing gowns and pretty exhausted, not to mention anxious. 

The child asked what was going on so we explained. Then the child marched off shooting off something unappreciative such as "Well make sure you get it right then!"

But that evening we saw the glimmer of new child. A child who tip-toed thoughtfully towards the dog and placed the palm of the hand on her head, and whispered "Are you alright then? Are you? Good dog…"

Sea change.

And it's not only the dog who's getting a new, softer housemate.

The child seems to be starting to turn the corner with people.

Maybe I'm over-reaching here, but I swear that in the last few days there's been a bit of re-thinking. We're not so bad after all. People don't all suck.

Perhaps the child remembers that for the first few months after coming to us I slept through the night on sofa cushions outside the child's bedroom door to help when night terrors kicked in.

Maybe the child can see, logically, that being kind is a good way to be, and is now faced with squaring up to some monstrous demons that live deep down in the innermost, and will probably always be there.

Can cold logic combat deep-held emotions?

I dunno on that one, who does?

I do know that our lovely dog is on the mend, fingers crossed.

And - perhaps - she isn't the only one on the mend around here.


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