This week has been one in which the international news has taken center stage with episodes of symbolic importance: the royal wedding of William and Kate and the killing of Osama bin Laden. In my household we experienced an episode of much more significance to us. This is the first time I've described it because I can't talk about it. I can talk about the healing but it is too difficult to talk about the details of what happened in incident.
I ran over my dog Figaro. With my car.
As I drive down the street to my house every night after work, I hit the garage door opener so the door is opening as I turn into the driveway. At least one of our two Bichons usually hears it and comes through the doggy door into the garage to meet me. Wednesday was no different except it was the 2d time I had to pull into the garage in 1/2 hour. When I'd gotten home the 1st time, John, who'd gone to the grocery store earlier, had forgotten something so I had to turn around and go back out, much to my irritation. My petty irritation: the first mistake. As I was coming home the second time the garage door was open and I was pulling in too fast (I'm sure due to my self-righteous irritation): my second mistake. I didn't see either dog come out of the doggy door into the garage.
When I heard screaming (yes, I found out that dogs can scream), I put on the brakes, jumped out and ran around the back of the car to see what was wrong. Phoenix came out to see what the commotion was all about, so I knew it was Figaro who was (still) screaming. When I didn't see him running away from the car, I was horrified to realize that he was probably still underneath it. Now I started with the ohmygods. ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. Without going completely around the back of the car to the other side to see where he was (big mistake), I jumped back in the car and for a split second wondered if I should pull forward or back up to get off him. ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. I pulled forward. Another mistake: I ran over him further. Sickeningly, I could see the front corner on the passenger side of the car lift and drop down (I swear I saw it in slow motion). ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. I leaped from the car to find Figaro making his way across the side yard dragging his usually curled tail behind him, looking back over his shoulder at me. ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. I started to go back to the car to turn it off, then changed my mind and ran back to the yard and couldn't see Fig anymore. ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. So I went to the car and get my phone and came back to find him. I found him further away in the woods standing there looking at me. I couldn't figure out how to use my iPhone to call the vet. I kept looking at it and pushing buttons... ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod... ("no, that's Facebook, ...no that's mail...wait... OK here's the phone...where are the numbers...who am I calling....) ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod...I finally figured out how to use it again. Our vet was still in his office at 5:50 pm and his receptionist said if I came right away I could go there instead of Animal Urgent Care.
Now the hard part: how do I get him to the car? do I pick him up? Afraid of hurting him more, I ran back to the house and got a leash, came back to Figaro standing in the woods and put his leash on him...he actually walked to the car with only a slight limp. When we got to the car, I opened the passenger door and he stood there while I removed his leash and put my hands around his rib cage, lifted him onto the floor of the front seat and waited 'til I got in the driver's side. He stayed on the floor of the car while I drove the 7 minutes to the vet's. (One great thing about living in Wheeling is that it takes less than 15 minutes to drive anywhere in town.)
I am sure with all this running back around and back and forth, I must have looked like one of those ducks in a shooting gallery.
As I was driving I stopped with the ohmygods and graduated to praying "Please God, help Figaro be okay. Please help him be okay. Please please please help him be okay." I reminded myself of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz when he kept wringing his hands with his eyes closed repeating "I do believe in ghosts, I do believe in ghosts, I do I do I do believe in ghosts.
When I got to the vet's, Fig let me lift him out of the car and he walked into the building. When we got there, he wouldn't let the vet touch him, which I thought was kind of funny because it was okay that I did, but not the vet, who he normally likes. And he wouldn't go into the room the vet wanted him to go into, he careened off to the side into a different room and slunk into a corner. So our wonderful understanding vet followed him in there and examined him on the floor in the corner. He seemed to be able to tell within mere moments that Figaro was going to be ok, but that he was suffering from "road rash" on his belly. I left him there overnight for sedation, pain mangement, hydrotherapy and antibiotics.
I kept praying. I immediately got on Facebook and within minutes had many other friends praying. The next day, Figaro came home. He's sore. He's uncomfortable. His tail is still dragging and his ears are kind of droopy. But it is a miracle that he doesn't have a broken bone in his body and no internal damage. Truly a miracle.
Last Sunday at church our pastor preached about The Transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:28-36). He said God's gift of this experience to Jesus, Peter, John, and James was that they'd have something, some hope, to hold onto when they walked through the depths of what they were going to experience in the future. That's what this miracle is for me, along with Creation (some call it Nature) and the time God spoke to me (yes, He did and I'll be happy to tell you about it if you ask). These three experiences are what I think of whenever I doubt God's existence ("I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief." Mark 9:24)
My prayers have been answered. Again. Thank you, God.