The Dog Update

I just got off the phone with the vet.  They had a couple of cancellations today and so were able to go ahead and operate on her this afternoon.  The meniscus was torn and they were able to do they repair they had planned on.  But she also had a lot of arthritis in her knee, more than he was expecting to see, and there’s a lot of cartilage damage.  He did some kind of procedure to clean up the joint and stimulate healing, but he says that the arthritis makes her prognosis not quite as good.  She’s probably always going to have some joint pain, but fixing the knee will make it more usable for her.

So, she has to be on morphine for 24 hours and we’ll be able to go get her on Thursday.

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Sacredness and Magic and Such

I still think the result of this trip to the vet is going to be favorable, because the doctor who will be operating on Mrs. Wigglebottom is Dr. Ochin, which is pronounced ‘Dr. Ocean,’ but which I immediately heard as ‘Dr. Oshun’ and I thought that anyone who carries with him every day the name of the sweet mother of us all would carry with him some Good Fortune that would carry into his dealings with my dog.

I picked this place to live because it was the place that seemed to speak to the Folks who speak to me.

It’s a screwy way to organize your life, but it’s my way and I stick to it in my own way.

I cannot help but think of my brief neighbor, Zora Neale Hurston, who, when hearing about these gods, took them seriously and went to see for herself.  I often think of her laying naked on a couch, wearing only one sock, Someplace Else.

I have been unable to get Dianne’s post about her parting ways with Lilith out of my head.  There’s some truth there that speaks to my soul.  The whole post is good, but the two bits that keep swirling around are

I longed for a god who looked like me, to whose image I could relate, who didn’t demand my subservience because of my vagina.  I wanted to choose to serve Deity not out of fear of some dreadful consequence, but out of love.

and

I am through serving a god I fear.

I bring both these things up because I was thinking this afternoon about how I felt a couple of years ago like I was handed over by the Old Man to the Women, and that it was with the Women that I was supposed to take these next steps.

I consider myself to be a universal polytheist in that I believe that Oshun is just as real as my Women, but I consider myself to be a Heathen in that the folks I run around with are the Germanic gods.  I can understand having a Dr. Ochin as being Favorable without reading it as some sign that I am supposed to turn and follow Oshun now.

I live in a diverse community.  I know my family and friends and neighbors best, but it seems reasonable to find Other folks in the neighborhood.

Ha, well, it’s October, the time for crazy posts.

I have a point, I swear.  And this is it.  I believe the Christian god is male.  I don’t believe it’s a mistranslation or a misunderstanding or millenia of sexism.  I choose to take Him at His word and if He says He’s the Father and the Son, who am I to sit around and say “Oh, but He really meant ‘Parent’ and ‘Child’.”  Since I have the most experience understanding sacredness through understanding it in relation to a male god, I feel like I most easily understand sacredness through maleness.

It’s easier for me to pick up on that kind of holy energy and understand the presense of a male god than it is for me to feel some kind of female sacredness.

It is for exactly this reason that I think the Old Man dropped me off with the Women and left me to work with them.

And I think the task is clear–understanding and recognizing what is sacred in myself, learning to feel with certainty what is magical moving through me, in order to recognize it in its undistilled form and to interact with it.

But being clear doesn’t make it easy.  Before, I could tell when the space shifted and something sacred had arrived because something with a very different energy was present.  But this requires something different.  It requires, I think, first, a recognition and a proper valuation of my own worth, both as a human being and as a sacred being.  That is hard enough, especially when you’re brought up in a culture that teaches you that you don’t have much worth as a person or as a spiritual being.  But the second step, of getting in touch with that energy so that you can learn to recognize when it is present in the form of something larger than you, is what has me thrown for a loop.

I feel quite adept at recognizing Difference as being Sacred, but I’m not at all sure how to recognize an abundance of Sameness as the presense of the Divine.  Both because I’m not sure I am convinced of the Sacredness of my own self and because I’m not sure how to recognize more of that energy.

Anyway, serving any god is really not for me.  Working with?  Being in relationship to?  Yes and yes.  Not that it matters.  It’s a struggle to find words that convey what you mean when what you mean doesn’t quite fit into words.

Some days, though, I feel like I’m getting at something, some feeling of the core truth of what it means to be a woman, that feeling of pushing out and taking in and breaking open and closing back up.  For me, it’s the miles of difference between “Dust you are and to dust you shall return” and “This land I am and to this land I shall return.”

Who’s the Elitist Here?

Bill Hobbs seems to think that the reason the whole Ayers/Wright/Obama triangle hasn’t caught on is that it’s too complicated for ordinary people to understand.

I have to admit, I am secretly curious about what it would be like to be completely unmoored from the positions you take from one moment to the next, one post to the next, as if one thing you think has nothing to do with something else you think.  Maybe I’m even a little jealous.

Mrs. Wigglebottom Was Not Pleased, To Put It Mildly

The trip to the vet was horrible.  Let me just start off saying up front that it is her ACL and that they’re going to fix it and all will be fine, so that we have that out of the way.

And then let me repeat that it was horrible.  No one at the vet’s office touched her or talked to her in any kind of soothing manner.  They muzzled her twice.  The first time went okay but the second time was such a disaster that they had to bring her back in for me to do it and the doctor wanted to sedate her and I was all you should haev sedated her a half an hour ago, and she even growled at me like what the fuck are you doing woman? And then I had to leave her with a bunch of people who didn’t even pet her.

I know this is for the best and I know she’s going to feel so much better at the end of all this.

But I feel so terrible

She was so afraid and I just did not know how to ease her fear and I just felt like, when she was counting on me most, I let her down.

And I know that, if she could understand the broader picture, that clearly isn’t the case.

But dogs don’t see the broader picture.  All she knows is that I took her some place horrible and left her and no one would even rub her belly.

I just felt like they saw her as a monster, and not a dog in need of some comfort and reassurance.  And I feel so bad about that on so many levels.

Okay, I have to pull myself together now and do something with my day.  I don’t know what, but something.

Dog of My Heart

I’m about a half an hour away from leaving for the vet with Mrs. Wigglebottom.  I made the mistake of watching an episode of Bones last night that contained the Dog Whisperer and a story about a German Shepherd forced to kill for its master.  As an aside, I’ll just say that a slightly smarter show might have drawn some parallels between the dog’s situation and Zach’s situation, but Bones is not that slightly smarter show.

Anyhow, yes, I was sobbing like a baby and Mrs. W. looked over at me and practically rolled her eyes, like “Can’t you see I’m trying to sleep here?”  She’s still mad at me because she thought we were going for a car ride yesterday and we were actually just going outside to clean out the car so that I would have someplace inside the car to put Coble tomorrow.  Those libertarians are all “We should all be able to do what we want” until what you want to do is just strap them to the roof of the car so that you don’t have to even begin to consider what is growing in your cupholder.  Then they have all these “rules” and “laws” about passengers needing to be inside the vehicle that they want enforced.

My point is that Mrs. Wigglebottom has never been the nurturing type of dog, who sensed when something was wrong and tried to comfort you.

But she is the dog of my heart.

It’s hard, I think, when you have a dog, to explain exactly how it is that you come to feel about that dog, though everyone who has a dog seems compelled to try.  The chimney sweeps came over yesterday and they spent more time playing with Mrs. W. and rubbing her belly and scratching her butt than they did looking over my fire place (and they spend a good amount of time looking over my fireplace).

Dogs are… I don’t know… they’re just beings that facillitate your soul being a little bigger.

And I know that this is for the best.  But I’m terrified, too.

My Dad’s all like “I think she’s getting better.  I haven’t seen her limp at all since we’ve been here.”  But the truth, America, is that we don’t take her for walks anymore and haven’t since before we moved, because she couldn’t even walk down to the end of the street without spending at least part of the day limping.  And I think she limps much less here because we’re all on one level, and she doesn’t have to navigate the stairs.

But the real clue takes more careful noticing.  If she’s outside, she avoids the grass for as long as she can, goes in only as far as she feels she has to, and then comes right back to harder surfaces.  All those things to smell and dig in and she stays on the surfaces where she can more easily brace the joint.  And a dog who cannot enjoy the grass is a sad dog indeed.

So, I’m terrified and hopeful and all those things at once.  I clearly should have made arrangements to have someone go with me, because I’m a mess.  But I keep thinking of Luce and how happy she is to have a knee that works and it reassures me that this is the right thing to do.

My mom’s all like “Your dad says it’s just a dog and that, when it gets to be this expensive, you should think about having her put down.”  And I’m all like “A., it’s just a knee.  It’s not like she has something that can’t be fixed or fixing it is just putting off the inevitable.  She could go along like this for ten more years and just be less happy than she otherwise would be.  Do you put a dog down just because it’s inconveniant to fix her?  That seems evil.  And b.  She keeps my soul happy.  How can you harden your heart against the thing that makes your soul happy?”

And then I was sad for my dad.

Anyway, I’ve got to throw on some clothes and brush my teeth.  Please be thinking of us.  My biggest fear is that they’ll do x-rays and see that my vet was wrong and that it’s not just her knee but cancer or something that cannot be fixed.

I’ll update when I know something.