“Good people are good to their animals” Proverbs 12:10 [MSG]
Have you ever felt like you were living in “The Twilight Zone”? You remember that show, don’t you? Perhaps I’m telling my age. Well, growing up, I used to watch the reruns on Nickelodeon.
Well, these past few days I had the craziest and scariest experience. A Twilight Zone worthy moment. Late Thursday afternoon, during a normal walk to the park, I experienced the worst day of my life. You see, I took my two dogs for a “potty” walk. My little 6 pound Maltese, Marley, was on the leash, when a giant standard poodle, which was not on a leash, just ran into his lease. The poodle got stuck in the leash and kept running, which caused my little dog to be whipped around and flown through the air. He landed with a thud and didn’t move for minutes.
This image and moment is now permanently imprinted in my mind.
I honestly thought my little baby was dead. Although he finally opened his eyes minutes later, his body remained lifeless and I thought surely he was paralyzed. And strangely, Marley’s nose was bleeding and his eyes wouldn’t stay open. I gathered every ounce of courage and hope for his life I could muscle and picked him carefully to take him to the emergency veterinarian.
Thankfully my significant other was able to leave work immediately, send me the address of the closest veternarian, and meet me at the hospital.
I don’t know how I drove there with my doggie in my lap, but I did. I remember the vet technician taking my limp, lifeless dog from me to examine him, while I completed the paperwork.
I was in a haze and couldn’t even believe this was happening, and especially not now. Marley and I have been together the entire time I’ve lived in California. In fact, we’ve been everywhere together for almost 7 years. He has been with me through failed relationships, graduate school, law school, multiple houses, a summer associate position in Indianapolis, a law clerk position in Philadelphia, and trips to Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, and Ohio to name a few. He was my travel partner and my study buddy.
We’ve been everywhere and done everything together.
I was incredulous that a freak accident could take him away from me….. And leave me all alone… especially in a new city, San Francisco, with
no two friends, no extended family, and little support [besides my significant other].
Marley has been my family, my unconditional support….
And then I realized that I had Jesus.
I know it sounds a bit cliche, yes, even to me. But it is the truth.
I had to lean on Jesus. I had to believe that he could make Marley all better. The veterinary doctors certainly did not want to give me false hope.
In fact, their first words involved choices regarding money and paying for the treatments that Marley would need to even assess whether he would be okay. Just to get him past this initial dark stage. IVs and medicine to reduce the swelling in his brain. Radiology. Overnight stays.
I was told that he may not see in his right eye – the side his little body landed on. I was warned that he may be permanently paralyzed on his left side of the body. And he might have irreversible brain damage. And of course, there was nothing they could know for sure. Of course…
So, faced with the possiblity of no life with Marley, I turned… no I ran to Jesus. And I prayed, and prayed, and prayed.
I called on my family and friends to pray for him. And my prayer was specific. I wanted Marley to have a full health recovery!
The first night in the vet hospital, I received a call that he’d had a seizure and been administered valium. And I was told the next morning that seizures were not a good sign.
The next day, Friday, I visited him in the hospital and he was still limp and lifeless. And more importantly, he was not moving his arm and leg on the left side. Friday night, he had another seizure.
I couldn’t sleep most nights, so I just prayed. I prayed for his health. I prayed for no seizures. And I prayed that the image of the accident, and his little limp body, would leave my mind’s eye…even if just for a second.
I prayed to be a better protector of him in the future. And since there was no one really to blame [well besides the other dog that was not on a leash], I turned the blame on myself and started second guessing everything. If I’d just taken him out earlier… not taken him out at all… if I hadn’t been worried about my other dog having a chance to play… if I’d taken him off leash… If I… If I…
My mind went on like this for hours…
And then Jesus would hear my prayers, and allow me peace enough to go to sleep – even if for a few hours.
And then Saturday came. The day where my hope in Marley’s ability to walk was restored. During my visit, I was able to get him to stand on his own and walk 2 baby steps toward me.
I saw enough to believe… that Marley would be fully restored.
And that night, the phone did not ring with news of a seizure. And I really began to hope that Jesus had made him better.
And then Sunday came, and the dreaded meeting with the neurologist for his report. Poor Marley had seen specialists from almost every medical area. The neurologist was suprisingly upbeat and positive about Marley’s recovery. In fact, he said that he was shocked at his progress between Thursday evening and Sunday morning.
I wasn’t shocked…I was relieved and thankful that Jesus healed my little baby Marley. Only God could have restored him, and so quickly.
Although Marley is not out of the woods completely yet, he is now safely on the other side. And he is home.
“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” Psalm 30:2. [NIV]
He is no longer on meds, attached to IVs, and under a seizure watch. He’s home with his family. And he’s walking around on all fours and seeing out of both eyes. He responds to his name. And he is almost like new.
I am so, so, so thankful.
I was very fortunate to have the financial support of my significant other, which enabled Marley to receive the best medical care possible. And unlike me, he was strong and rational and brave enough to ask the tough questions, while I was just a ball of tears. Thankfully, my significant other loves Marley too.
I am thankful to my love, and I am very thankful to Jesus.
“Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” Psalm 30: 11-12 [NIV].
Wishing you hope, joy, and peace,
[I’m giving thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever! I’m just beginning to list my thousand gifts.]
- Thanks to the Lord,
- Prayers from family and friends
- Health of my doggie, Marley
- The love and support of my significant other
- Capable veterinarians
- More than enough of food, clothes, financial resources, and grace