I Hate the Feeling of Knowing What’s Coming
I pleaded. I bargained. I threatened. But it was no use. My dog would not back away from the woods behind the shed, where he had been sprayed by a skunk just two weeks earlier.
I was more panicked when he got skunked than I was now. I frantically searched the internet for how to rid dogs of the smell. My kids and I bathed him outside with a hose using a variety of solutions, including baking soda and Dawn dish soap.
That had mostly done the job, but Comet continued to carry a faint odor around his snout, and I had to replace his collar.
And now, just a day after his trip to the groomer, I should not have taken him for a walk with me, because the sun had set and our nocturnal neighbors were coming out of their dens. But our daily walks are the highlight of Comet’s day, and he had waited expectantly by the door as I put on my tennis shoes. Against my better judgment, I let him come with me.
We walked around the field once and were heading back to the house. I intended to put him inside before it got too dark, and then continue with my walk. But he ran into the bushes behind our shed and alerted me to something I could only assume was a skunk, though I hadn’t smelled it yet.
Comet barked excitedly, and my throat grew hoarse as I alternated between scolding him and offering treats.
I fell silent, resigned to the inevitable. I hate that feeling of knowing what’s coming and being unable to prevent it.
All I could do was wait a good distance away. Finally, the stench wafted over. Comet continued barking, and eventually trotted proudly to me with his head held high, as though he expected affirmation for his battle. He was ready to continue our evening walk.
“Bad dog, you’re getting a bath!”
This time, I knew the drill.
After my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with ALS more than a decade ago, I felt panicked and fearful about the future. I had to train my mind not to go down the road of “what ifs.” We prepared the best we could, but then we had to take problems day by day.
In the beginning of the disease, I pleaded and bargained with God. I scoured the internet for possible cures. It felt better to try supplements that may help extend his life than trying nothing. But the disease progression continued.
Now, I feel resigned. I hate that feeling of knowing what’s coming and being unable to prevent it.
I have an idea of what we will face as the disease continues to progress. With much experience, I am more capable of meeting various challenges. I try to live the best I can, appreciating the magical moments that still exist in our lives and in the world, but I wish I weren’t resigned to such a difficult present and future.
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