“The most useful asset of a person is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, with ears open to listen and hands willing to help.” Suman Rai
I was awoken out of a sound sleep this morning with Zen’s frantic, loud repeated howling from another room. I shot out of bed and raced into the front room, visually checking the hallway to see if he was there. No, I found him in the front room curled up on his side in the fetal position. He wasn’t moving. I checked to see if he was breathing. Yes! His one exposed eye was unable to focus or respond to my voice. I rapidly went through the possibilities of what could be wrong.
Now, let me comment at this point, for some of you who may not understand the connection some humans have with their pet. It would be like seeing your child or human loved one lying on the floor motionless.
As I continued to check Zen’s body, I mentally considered the possibilities. My first assumption: Did he have a stroke? His glazed eye, in a fixed stare, prompted me to realize it possibly was a stroke or a heart attack. I gently touched his head and noticed his front paws curled up tightly against his chest. His whole body was rigid and stiff. All the while, I was saying to him, outloud, “It’s okay. I am here puppy.” He did not respond to this at all. Then, I mentally asked: Is he dying? Do I rush him to the vet 25 miles away? How do I lift 90 pounds into the van? Who can I call to help me?
Reality kicked in: There was no-one to call to help us. My metered phone is out of service until tomorrow to even call the vet. So, the only thing I could do was just comfort and lovingly pet Zen while continuing to check his body. I discovered his left hind leg was curled under his body and the lower part of the leg and paw stuffed into his rib cage. And then I saw it!
Zen’s chain collar on his neck was caught and wrapped around his back leg and foot. I couldn’t see it at first because his body was lying on top of it. He was trapped. I gingerly untangled the chain from around his leg and paw asking myself if his leg could be broken. Zen still did not move or respond to my voice. He was motionless until I had completely unwrapped the chain and released his leg. With that accomplished, Zen jumped up, and began running around the house with wild abandonment as if to say, “I’m free! I’m free!” Shaking his body repeatedly, he returned to my side for hugs and thankful “your okay” petting on my part! WHEW! I cried joyful, thankful tears that my friend was safe and well.
Now that I have had coffee, fed Zen, and he is curled up asleep on his bed, I am able to check in with myself. My body, mind and spirit recovered to access this event.
I would rather NOT have had to endure this trauma. However, what has surfaced is that I discovered the stuff I am made of in an emergency. There was no panic or fear present this morning, just calm. And this discovery can do wonders for self-confidence.
My norm upon waking in the morning, after days of hard physical labor, is to reluctantly pull myself out of bed, half asleep, stiff and sore. This morning, hearing Zen, I bounded out of bed like a warrior!
I went the distance and stayed calm until the crisis passes. Then I fall apart!
Any future collar comes off during the night. Zen evidently was scratching and his leg and paw became entangled in the chain.
How long had he laid there? Was his loud exasperated howl saying: “MOM HELP!” I wonder.
When this was taking place and I knew that my options were limited, I resolved to just comfort a friend as if he was truly passing from this earth. And, just to be present by giving him unconditional love; of which this magnificent creature has given to me for the past six years.
When the chips were down and there was no one to help or lean on, something internally showed up. A calm presence, that leads you step by step, through whatever is taking place. Call it Divine Intervention, or maybe, just maybe, it is the only thing that is really, truly important in this life: It is called Love! And, love is the way through whatever is taking place.