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Today's post has not a thing to do with healthcare or technology
but as this blog does promise, it involves dogs, which are
something I always enjoy discussing. I say this because I
believe dogs are generally kind, they love unconditionally, are
excellent judges of character, and I've never had a dog let me down
in any significant way. Not once.
I also believe in the concept of "little grace", by which I mean
the small good things each day holds when we are willing to pay
attention. As my younger brother says, it doesn't cost a dime
to pay attention. And it doesn't. Little grace comes to
us all the time but we ignore it. We don't want to see it or
we miss it or we deny it or, worse, we take these small good things
life offers and intellectualize them -- which is to say we attempt
to explain them within our own boundaries and understandings.
When in fact little grace can be easily seen but not so easily
So today I share this note from my good friend Mick:
Best news here is that our almost 13
year old black lab, Walter, just had a happy recovery from what was
almost like a stroke--vestibular syndrome or some such.
One morning, he just couldn't stand.
I thought it was the end, but the vet said no, dogs come back, but
then a few days later (we'd been hand feeding him and carrying him
in and out of the house, supporting him while he peed), the doc
said, sorry, I can't help, go home, say your goodbyes, and bring
him back. That night Henry and I bought him a Burger King
hamburger, you know like a last meal, though I didn't think he'd
eat it. Well, he gobbled it, and then seemed to turn the corner.
Next day, he stood, and wagged, and ate kibbles again, and now is
pretty much his old guy self--knock on wood. I may have to help him
up onto the couch when I watch the Twins but he'll be there. He's
on a series of one-day contracts, I've been saying, just like all
I will include a recent picture, in
honor of Easter (forgive the sacrilege) of Walter back from the
dead, but really, grace is grace, and that's what a few extra days
with a good dog feels like to us.
I don't know which things in this wonderful note please more
more, the idea of life as a series of one-day contracts or Mick's
fine summation that grace is grace. I declare it a tie.
But I do know that in my opinion Mick's a big shot: a
novelist and professor of English at a university, and rather than
tie his dog's resurgence back to some complicated set of medicine
and events, he and his family simply celebrated more time with
their beloved dog.
What better response is there than gratitude?
Little grace. Look for it.