Thursday, May 04, 2006

An Extraordinary Dog, and Some Layouts.

I was out working today, and I went in to admit a patient who lived in a personal care home. I have been at this house before, and was really impressed with the way it was run. It smells great, looks pristine, and the caregivers look happy and energetic. It's truly a delight to discover something like this these days. I was seated next to my patients bed, when a black streak tore across the room straight at me. I could almost hear the brakes as she stopped- crammed up against my legs. A dog. She leaned hard against me, and looked at me. I was scratching her ears, and calling her "pooch" and telling the caregiver how sweet she was, and how she was like a cat--she just leaned her head against me. Hard.

The caregiver started to tell me that this dog had been with her since she opened the home 10 years ago. She said that if someone were sick, the dog would sleep by their bed. She said they had a patient die last week, and the dog had not left her bed side except to eat and do it's business for 2 weeks. Stayed by her bed.

I looked down at this creature, and she was looking at me. Leaning on me. I thought at the time, "I wonder if I need comforting?" but then the lady said "Come on!" and the dog ran out of the room. A strange sort of black lab mix, not the cutest dog I've ever seen, nothing extraordinary to look at.

I'm trying to work this out. I am utterly amazed by this dog and her actions for so many reasons. Number one: there's an inate sense in her that either humans don't have, or we are so drowned in everyday cares and occupations that most have not plumbed the depths and found it. Number two: God cares so much about us, and provides us with comfort. Number three: It really matters that someone is with you when you are sick. Someone who just sits and is a living presence in the room. Number four: That dog (I wish I had caught her name) isn't worried about what she needs to DO for these people. She just gives everything she is. Effortlessly, and with complete abandonment. And with Joy.

So I wonder about her leaning and her looking. I don't speak dog. Perhaps some of you dog- people know what these dog-signals mean. There's a small part of me that thinks she recognized a fellow care giver. Our interaction was give and take. I petted and sweet-talked her and she leaned on me. Maybe she did sense a need in me. Or perhaps she does this to everyone who enters the house. All of these options are viable ones. But the end of it is that I am amazed, once again, utterly amazed at a Lord who can be so huge, and yet so present in the small things that are easily passed over. A gracious and kind Friend.

I came home from work, and had a private talk with Bo at his request. He's so grown up, so articulate. We worked it out, and although I'm DYING to replay the conversation here, I will keep it between he and I.

I missed the meeting Wednesday night, but here's what I was planning to bring:






And here's another layout I did in the same vein:




In other exciting news: amberskolnick has a blog! Yippee Hooray!!

17 comments:

Lu said...

i love the dog story and it does make you wonder if they know something we do not know.

jill said...

Sarah-I love the way you see the world. And I have always thought that animals are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. And I do think God put them here for a reason. Love your story, good way to start the day!

Byron Branfield said...

Animals are very clever and ther instincts are very astute. Some researchers believe that dogs are able to smell cancer. Quite a bit to think about.

Dog Byron Branfield

Adrienne said...

What a wonderful dog story!

Alison said...

I ran into a pet therapy dog in a chemo room last month.
It was nappy though.
Your dog sounds like a healer dog.
Of course he recognized you.

Julie said...

incredible layouts!

i was thinking about my dog yesterday....how much he gives and all he wants in return in his ears scratched....if only every relationship was that easy!

Jada's Gigi said...

I definitley believe pets sense things we either don't get or don't take the time to get....like Byron said, some scientists think dogs can smell cancer and i'm sure there are tons of other things they can dso that we know nothing about. Good story...Great God!
As for the LOs is that ou and Em or you and your mom...I honestly think they look soo much alike! :)

Kim said...

Love the dog story!! Toby, my schnauzer, stays by me when I'm sick or I don't feel good.

I really like the pictures and how you over lapped the two. You, now speaking to yourself then. Really good!! Wish you could have been at sister's.
Love ya!

Goody said...

My heart is too full to comment. Later maybe, my dear.

JadieJune {julie} said...

Sarah - Just came upon your blog through 2 Peas. Was drawn in by your latest lay-out. I love that little girl tranposed on you now! Very powerful. I appreciate how you are so true about your faith - I am trying to work my faith into my art - I am growing!! Thank you for sharing your artwork.

Mara said...

wow....
i am in LOVE with that dog.
Wow.
Great LOs too :)

amberskolnick said...

i agree with what Goody said

Anja said...

gotta love dogs. I think you're right.

Bec said...

I too love how you view the world...my immediate thought was that maybe your lap was,just for that moment, the dog's refuge...a place to receive, reboot, and get some affection from a like minded carer...we all need to refill ourselves...after all that giving to others...just a thought...

Michelle W. said...

I love it... you are so funny sweetie cake!

sweetie cake?!

ok.. I'm weird.

Annie said...

We dogs know more than people think we do!

Jackie said...

That's right!