Saturday Morning with COVID
By Patty L. Fletcher
Moon Phase Waning Crescent
I sat on the side of my bed, elbows resting on my knees, head in hands, my hair hanging around my face, in long, tangled curls trying to determine how I felt. Though I hoped this would change as I moved about doing my necessary, washing face, brushing teeth and hair for the moment I felt like a train wreck.
My morning routine took lots longer than normal and I found myself grateful for Blue’s Patient training. There he was, my Big, Blue Dog, resting politely on the foot of my bed, happily accepting short tummy rubs and nuzzles as I passed back and forth getting dressed and ready to take him out. It was a sincere effort to do all which was needed to be presentable outside with other early risers afoot.
Before we went out, I sat at the table in my kitchen living area taking a moment to catch my breath, gather my strength wake up and let my medications get started in my body.
Once I felt in line with myself, I leashed up my pup, grabbed my cane and we headed out. We walked easily with one another up the hill to the first of the two places I’ve designated as relief areas. Once there, I was grateful to lean on the grandfatherly tree whose energy I took with gratitude as Blue sniffed and snuffed looking for just the right spot.
When the deed was done, I allowed him to walk round to the other place we’ve come to know as a relief area and finally, after a whole lot of sniffing he finished by watering the tree who stood patiently with the birds in her branches squawking their displeasure at mine and blue’s intrusion upon their morning. I had taken another time out to catch my breath while he enjoyed himself so was ready when he found the walkway and indicated we should return home.
Placing the tip of my cane up onto the walk I stated, ‘OK Blue, sit.’ When he did, I praised, ‘Excellent. Now, Good Boy. Rest.’
While he sat patiently waiting, I found my footing as I stepped from the grass onto the walk. Since my medical event in 2017 I’ve had to be careful with my balance when transferring from one type of surface to another and once again I found myself grateful for blue’s patient training and
my physical therapists.
Making our way uphill back to the turn to take us to our side and downhill to home, I thought, ‘leash
or harness, he does a fantastic job.’
Though I know, he is not 100 percent reliable without his harness, I also know he is doing well with learning to leash guide while I walk with my cane, and he is learning when it needs doing and when he can just relax and be a dog. This is important and I enjoy teaching it to him.
Does it work?
Well, this morning, when we got back to our side of the complex and were headed downhill to the house, he fairly flew! He may as well have had his harness. After a while though, he found some interesting places needing his nosey investigations so for a moment his eyes left the walk, and I used all my cane skills while keeping him in line as he sniffed. I’m not sure how or when we did it, but we’ve developed a way to communicate with one another through the leash when he is going to work and when he’s going to go all Retriever.
As if reading my thoughts, suddenly, his head came up and he fell back in step at heel. I praised, ‘Good boy.’ Unsure of what he was alerting on. Allowing him a fraction of his head I felt his tug on the leash quite specifically leading me around what my cane soon determined was the nose or tail of a car sticking overtop the walkway.
‘Good boy!’ I enthused. ‘That’s what we’ve been working for. Good boy! That a way Let’s go home! Let’s go inside!’
He took me at my word. He fell in position as if he were wearing his harness and putting the same type of pressure on the leash made it quite clear he was in charge.
‘Good boy! Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue is on the case. Good boy. Let’s go home. Let’s go inside!’
Down the hill we went. I’m sure to some it’s no big deal. For me, feeling the cool humid air brush against my face, and blow through my hair as I walk along with my Big, Blue Dog by my side is unlike anything else I do. I knew, when I got back, I’d be blown out but for the moment I was on adrenaline and was feeling no pain. Thankfully, the meds were doing their jobs as well.
When we blew back through the door into our tiny hideaway hut, I stated, in a breathless but upbeat voice, ‘Thanks Blue for a great walk. Now, sit, and I’ll feed you. Rest.’
After leaning on the counter for several moments taking slow, deep breaths and allowing my heartrate and breathing to return to normal and feeling all the aches in my body ramping up all at once I scooped food into his bowl then sitting it down, I said, ‘OK Blue, take it.’
He thundered to the bowl and attacked it with a furious hunger. Laughing I said, ‘Eats as if he hasn’t been fed in 10 years.’
Finally, I had a cup of coffee to hand and was sitting in my chair. I felt like a tiny puppy could whip my tail, so I sat there letting the air wash over me from the vent above me and Blue settled down at my feet with a big bone. I’d faced the morning and won. But COVID was not done with me yet. Once again, I Felt as if I’d been run over by a train. I had to keep reminding myself of things like, ‘Be grateful you’re alive and well enough to be home and tend your own dog and body. Be grateful your family is safe, and no one appears to be sick.’
This morning, I’m working overtime to not be depressed that today’s the last full day my daughter, son in law and six grands will be here. I know how much worse this could be. So, I’m holding on to the fragments and faking it until I can make it again.
There are moments when coughing fits overtake me and moments when I can barely breathe. There are other moments when there are tiny bursts of energy and I feel as if I might yet see the other side of this hideous thing. There are moments when my Big, Blue Dog comes bumbling up with a toy or bone and his tail going a mile a second when I know there is still love in the world. There are great moments like when my sweet, thoughtful, loving daughter texts to make sure I’m OK and I don’t need anything.
In the bad moments, I hold on tight to my faith, ride the wave and wait for the darkness to pass. When the good moments come, I grasp them holding as tight as I can drawing all the goodness and strength from them,
I am able and knowing it is going to be well.
If you’ve read all through my mutterings to the end, I say thanks tons.
May Healthy Harmony find US All.
About Patty L. Fletcher
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.
Currently her works are on sale in eBook for 50 percent off at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/PattyFletcher
They can also be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher/e/B00Q9I7RWG
In Paperback and Kindle.