Friday, October 22, 2010

For The Love Of Lucas

Historically I am not a dog lover or pet person, we got rid of our fish tank about 8 years ago and with the flushing of the last tank dweller have been decidedly anti-pet people. However earlier this summer I was overwhelmed with an obsession of finding a dog. The biggest driving force behind this breaking down of my non-pet ideals was my increasing thought that I needed something to protect me while running. With a series of runner attacks in the media and with more of my miles being spent on mountain trails my desire for another level of protection was mounting. I started thinking about carrying mace or a knife or small caliber gun, but although I am not a pet person I am even less of a weapon wielder. The thought of man's best friend running along side me and at the same time deterring some would-be assailant became a very comforting and romantic thought.
So after researching breeds and scanning shelters I came across an ad for an adorable 9 week old Weimaraner named Lucas. It was love at first sight for me and the 4 boys so in a moment of impulse we signed up to be his family, not on paper but in our hearts and minds. I soon realized that this creature was filling a spot in my heart that I never even imagined could exist and at the same time was overwhelmed by the amount of time my mind and physical energy was being given to him. Having a dog is in a lot of ways similar to having a baby except babies don't come armed with sharp teeth and claws. Babies also don't run at breakneck speeds through the house with your lacy bra dangling from their mouths and are usually covered by insurance when an unexpected medical issue arises.
Lucas is now 5 months old, weighs 50 lbs. and moves through our house much like a giraffe on roller skates. Very recently our devotion and commitment to our puppy was challenged when he became suddenly and violently ill. Our vet suspected an intestinal obstruction and as she listed off the battery of tests they would run, which included an overnight hospitalization, anxiety grew as the dollar signs multiplied in my mind and the sorrow in my heart was shocking as I saw Lucas lying on a cold metal table, barely conscience. I am usually very in control of my emotions, almost to a fault, but as I left the vet without my dog I could not control the sobs that were only enhanced by my fear of the bill I would be faced with when all was said and done. I found myself flabbergasted and conflicted theologically as I began praying for my dog and texting prayer requests to friends for this animal that had proved to be filling a spot in our family I never knew had been empty.
Luckily and thankfully Lucas did not have an obstruction only a severe virus treatable with antibiotics, not surgery. And as I tactfully requested a payment plan for his care, envisioning digits that included a comma, the receptionist handed me a bill far less than I expected. Breathing an audible sigh of relief, I grabbed Lucas' leash and walked out with my dog, smiling and thanking God for this gift.
Lucas has made a full recovery and is back to his normal self, which is at times overwhelming, I am still caught very off guard by my love for him even as he steals my underwear and plays keep away with me before the sun has risen or my caffeine is at an appropriate level for his early morning energy.

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