Friday, December 22, 2006

Loyalty of a Dog

Everyone around me prepares for Christmas by running here and there buying last minute gifts, packing for Christmas trips, experiencing the excitement of the holiday. That's as it should be. I was doing that two days ago. Yesterday a slight sore throat became a full-fledged head cold that has put me in bed. I couldn't help but think that exactly one year ago yesterday, I was all set to make an early Christmas visit to my parents. I woke up that day with a stuffed head and serious vertigo, called my mom and told her I could not make a two hour drive with vertigo. She told me to wait until after Christmas to come when I was feeling better. She died on December 29 before I got there. That was one huge lesson--don't postpone visits with loved ones. Find a way to be with them.

This year I had planned to make Christmas dinner for my dad with all the family invited. One branch has declined. The other has not responded. My daughter and grandson will be there. Hopefully, I will shake this whatever it is and be there myself, but Dad doesn't need to catch the flu or even a bad cold at his age of almost 91 years. I'm doing what I can to get well.

Earlier this afternoon border collie Brooke came to my bedside and greeted me with those soulful eyes of hers. She sat up and placed two paws on the side of the bed and nuzzled me with empathy. I reached out and petted her. She came closer and gave me a kiss and a hug. Just what I needed. We are together to help each other. The loyalty of a dog is strong.

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