Monday, September 28, 2009

A rubber band--stretched

Another day, another trip to the vet.  We've practically set up a tent and moved into that place, are comfortable with dogs barking, peeing on the floor tiles (or the scale as the miniature collie did today), the anxious animals that practically climb onto their owners' heads (oh wait, that anxious pet would be Jamaica, and that head would be mine!).  Jamaica is suffering from a goopy eye (and yes, that is the medical term for it) and a lopsided nose.  Serious stuff, huh?  The whole right side of her face is swollen, which isn't easy to see from the side, but from the front...let's just say that the vet and the vet tech were both quite impressed with her face.

I am too, most of the time.  I find her dang cute, to tell the truth.  Except when she's in a frenzy trying to get someone--anyone, preferably Jackson--to play with her.  We've spent the last week or more trying to keep Jackson from rumbling with her (the word Beve uses), because he invariably steps wrong on the lame leg, then falls, then his limp is even more noticable for a while.  And in the last several days, if he (or any of us) knock Jamaica's nose, she yelps and darts into her kennel, then sits all the way at the back.   Her kennel is her one safe place, after all.

The vet said she probably got bitten by a spider or a hornet (or one of those flying, buzzing stinging bee-like insects that tend to swarm this time of year).  E and I both said, "Ah!"  For the last week, Beve's been shop-vac-cing a nest that is located up inside the cedar shakes up in the corner of our house.  I've been staying as far away from this exercise as I can get, given that I'm allergic to these bee-like creatures and, therefore, have always had a phobia of them.  I'm not the 'need the epy-pen or I'll be breathing my last' kind of allergic, but the 'swell up like a hot-air balloon from one tiny sting' allergic, but I'm here to tell you, getting over bee-stings has always been a long and arduous process for me, and NOT something I lean into, so to speak.

None of my kids, nor Beve, is allergic to bee-creatures.  Just the other day, E came in the house, grumbling because a bee had been caught between her foot and her flip-flop (which reminds me, we used to call that kind of footwear thongs, but whenever I forget and call them that around my kids, they say, "Mom!", as if I've said something obscene.  This morphing of language continues to bewilder me.). Needless to say, E got stung.  A few minutes later, when I looked at her foot, I couldn't even make out where the sting was, though she'd had to pull the stinger out of the ball of her foot.  This is NOT an allergic reaction.  And SK was stung this summer on her little toe, and swelled enough to bother her, but in the grand scheme of things, wasn't much to speak of.  So it seems only the dog got the allergy.  (Though E is allergic to spiders, and has just about the same reaction to them that I have to flying, stinging things)

So Jamaica got put on steroids for her swelling, so we won't be signing her up for baseball in the near future, though she could play center-fielder quitely adroitly, just as long as the ball played with was a tennis ball, and it was always hit to her, because no matter where it was hit, she'd be racing after it, and certainly wouldn't throw it to first in a timely fashion.  And she got put on eye drops for her goopy eye.  She has something of a ski-jump look to her muzzle at the moment, and looks a bit like Richard Nixon--or what he might have looked like if he'd been a Springer Spaniel--or if she was a paranoid (though I guess she is, now that I mention it) president who bugged every conversation ever held in the president's office, which would be great because then I'd have an all-access pass to the president, since I own her and have to put drops in her goopy eye.

But the thing is, all these trips to the vet, all these things I have to do for my dogs makes me aware of how little I actually control anything about their lives.  Even if I do 'own' them, which turns out to primarily mean deciding whether or not to allow expensive treatment for their ailments.  It's the same old story, isn't it?  I've been around this mountain a million times before.  Whatever else I'm learning, I'm learning that I'm not really in control...not of my dogs, my kids, my spouse, my own life.  Maybe you have this all worked out.  Maybe you easily abdicate control of your kids, spouse, dogs, house, job, interests, everything else to God.  But I don't.  I hang on and hang on and hang on.  And when that doesn't work, I hang on. Finally, when I've been to the vet 47 times in a two week period, I get the message--at least for today.  No matter how I map out my week, my day, an hour, I'm not in charge.  I have to be as flexible as a rubber band to where He will take me, what He will ask of me.  These days I feel a little bit like a rubber band that's been so over-stretched there are a couple of little tears in it.  Still doing the job, but one pull too far and it'll be ripped apart, and will be unable to perform its purpose. 

But I believe--even as I feel the rips in my physical body, my chaotic mind and tender spirit--I believe that God will not stretch me too far.  I will not rip.  Even if it feels mighty close at times.  He promises not to.  And I believe it.  I stake my life, my kids' lives, Beve's life, even my dogs' lives that His word is always true.

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