Sometimes It’s Just That Simple

Sometimes it seems as if biohazards are the meaning of my life: Orion and his food allergies; Oakley and his acid reflux and intolerances. Running the County Home for Canines with Sensitive Tummies must be my dharma.  Did you know that licking can be a self-soothing method when a dog has intestinal cramping? Now you do.

It didn’t cross my mind. Oakley’s acid reflux issues have been under control, or so I thought. Just before Christmas, Oakley started licking himself in the middle of the night. Not just a gentlemanly lap or two in order to ensure cleanliness, but long, loud, repetitive schlurrrrrp, schlurrrp between two and five a.m.

He also started licking the sofa and the bed in his crate. Was he bored? I started giving him puzzles, walking him more.  An article about canine acid reflux came up in my newsfeed. That’s how I learned about the licking as a form of self soothing.  Changed up his acid reflux medication.

Schlurrrrrrrrrrp…….What the…blood work that included digestive function came back normal. But now (don’t read if you’re squeamish) he was passing a lot of mucus with his poops. (I told you not to read that, didn’t I?)

Before subjecting Oakley to any further testing, I set up a quick session with a nearby friend who’s a communication facilitator for a check-in. Not the acid reflux, but cramping. The herb used to balance it out had outlived its purpose, and now was causing cramping. I took him off it immediately.

Slurp, slurp, slurp…better, but you do not want to know what he was still passing. Poop test came back clean. What next?

Mentioned it to the owner of our healthy pet food store. She suggested taking him off the goat yogurt, cutting out the cheese, and no added fats or oil, even coconut or omega-3s.

The only sound between two and five the next morning was the low rumble of the train running about a mile from the house and the snoring of a peaceful pooch.

Candles at Dusk

In someways, today has been another wonderfully mundane Monday. Warm-ish, and Oaks and I will head out for another walk in the not too distant future if he’s past being annoyed with me. This morning, I streamed Native American music. One of the tracks featured a coyote chorus. Oakley stopped in the middle of breakfast and stared out the back window, then went to the family room and stared at the speakers. I laughed; I couldn’t help it. 

Later this morning, I was running Oakley through his paces. He was in process of a sit when he, uh, passed gas. He whipped around, unsure of the noise’s origin with a confused look on his face. I started laughing uncontrollably. Hubby came downstairs to see what was happening. Oakley gave me a dirty look and crated himself. 

I don’t blame him. I apologized and gave him some extra goat keifer on his lunch. He’ll get some chicken tonight and another apology with extra snuggles. 

In other ways, the fabric of the day has a few dark threads. My thoughts have been with three friends. One has surgery scheduled later this week to repair damage done in a couple of freak falls; one’s mother is in the hospital; one has an elderly dog with pain issues that required stronger analgesics this week. Outside of my immediate circles, there’s the mess in West Virginia with the contamination of the Elk River and the greedy gutlessness that made the company responsible for it declare bankruptcy to avoid having to pay for damages. 

I can’t make the doggy stop hurting. I can’t teleport myself to the hospitals in question to do what I could to offer comfort and solace. I can’t, even though The Great Mystery knows I would love to, make the suits from the mess at the coal washing plant go for a swim in the fouled water or drink it to show how safe it is. 

So I will light a candle at dusk. I hold the match in my fingers–a wooden one. As I hold it, I set the intention that all will be resolved for the highest good of everyone concerned. Then I light it, and the candle, and imagine the light pushing back the darkness.

Is it a prayer, an intention, an incantation? I don’t know what it’s called, but I feel more peaceful when I’m done.