Saturday, October 23, 2010

Learning about Luther

This morning we made the drive out to Palmer for our first visit with The Holy Man. Luther had already had bloodwork and dental cleaning while in foster care, so today it was just about making an inventory and looking at his previous labs.

Dr. Ron gave him a good looking-at-and-listening-to. A hard thickness behind his jaws indicate a life of chronic ear problems, and we are doing an otic solution daily with the hope that Ron will be able to see eardrums when we go back in three weeks. (Digging in Luther's ears is the first time I've heard any sounds of discomfort from him.) He's missing some teeth and has a couple of pockets of concern in his mouth that may mean he loses a few more in the next six months. A few small growths that will come off whenever the first anesthesia opportunity arises. His heart and lungs are strong. His right shoulder bundle is massively developed, more than Ron has seen in a front-limb amputee (so much that it has deformed the upper arm bone), which indicates Luther was probably quite young when he lost the leg. The white marks all over his face and head are bite scars. From the level of lenticular sclerosis in his eyes, Ron puts Luther's age at older than we thought, probably 10+ years. Overall he was independently verified as a good old dog who's come through more than we know. As Ron's own path has been as a longtime devotee at the Church of the Labrador, Ron can finally count me among the converted, and blessed us both as we left today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All in a day

I am declaring today an unqualified success. I treated my body well and felt relatively well despite the hip that has recently begun to shriek "Replace me!" I made good decisions and got several small errands and tasks done that felt like sweeping up a lot of debris. My staff did a really good job of managing 64 dogs and working together. I made a significant gesture of financial generosity to someone who deserves it, checking off one box of many still owed in the pay-it-forward column. I learned that Kari has saved every greeting card I've ever given her. I heard my eldest brother tell me "I love you so much for being there" and then he changed it to "I love you so much for being." I felt gratitude that I am blessed with two brothers who say things like that more frequently and openly than I have a right to expect. I didn't have to work to put a smile on my face today. I have a good old dog lying on my porch. I worked only eight hours today and came home with enough energy to get the yard mowed and ready for winter. I made a delicious healthy dinner. And it's only 7:30 pm and I still have some energy. I feel capable and serene and a humble recipient of grace. I feel ready for tomorrow.