Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The dog in the well

It was about 5:30 when I got a call from T letting me know he was downstairs at the entrance to my building. We now work two blocks from one another in the center of the Big City, and since my first work week has been very erratic, a new routine has not yet been established. I was just finishing up my first memo, which I'm still not sure if I actually needed to do.

"I'll be down in five or ten minutes, or you can come up," I offered. How quickly I slip back into work mode.

He opted to stay downstairs, probably smoking and people watching, while I finished cite checking and entering in case notes fourteen floors above him. Just as I was powering down the computer and getting ready to head out the door, my phone rang. It was T again.

"Best Man just called. Their dog got up in the attic and she's stuck. He needs me to come help."

I told him I was on my way down.

Thus was the start of a long afternoon of trying to rescue a very old dog from a very deep chute. The utterly frightening lightening storm this morning had apparently driven Best Man and Best Woman's dog up into their trinity loft, where she nosed her way into an unfinished attic with doors the size of a microwave, and promptly fell down a bricked-over chimney at the back of the house. Given that the storm was over by 9:30 this morning, and that the poor dog's predicament wasn't discovered until Best Woman came home at 5:30, and that nobody showed up to help until 7:15 and the wall wasn't finally torn down until nearly 8:00, it's quite a miracle that she was alive at all. The night ended with a three-hour long wait at the animal hospital and a giant hole in Best Man & Woman's rented home. But the old lady dog that they adopted two years ago is still alive, albeit with an ulcer in her eye and too much brick dust in her lungs to know what will end up happening to her.

As I was driving the car around to their block to take them to the hospital, just after the dog was pulled from the rubble of the bricks and drywall, I panicked for just a second, thinking that if I didn't hurry I wouldn't get there in time. After all that work to get her out, to have her die on the way to the vet.

She made it. Thank God. But today's victory feels somewhat hollow. My uncle died as I was waiting for my connecting flight in Georgia. He wouldn't have wanted us to see him that way, so I know it's for the best. I'm grateful that he knew how much I loved him, even as I'm sad I never got to tell him one last time and angry that he had to go so suddenly. I want to stop taking so much for granted.

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