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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Being with a dog

Miss Daisy sleeps on our bed. I put her there when she first came home with us from the shelter and was so confused. It was the one place that really settled her down.

In the middle of the night last night I woke up with her pressed next to me on my pillow trembling and panting. In the morning she couldn't go for her walk, was in obvious pain, and I took her into the vet right away.

The day was spent waiting for tests and calls at home. 

A bunch of things were a little off, but more or less normal and her only real symptom was severe pain. The final diagnosis later in the afternoon was a ruptured disk in her back - this is probably going to mean surgery in Prince Edward Island at the vet college and in the meantime pain control, other meds and bed rest, about a month, no activity, at home if we can do it. Small dogs with short legs and long backs are prone to this.

As a crate or cage is out of the question for her the vet suggested I baby gate (got lots of those) off my bedroom and keep her in there, carefully carrying her out to pee etc. a couple of times a day. I go back tomorrow to see how this is working out.

So that's where we are now. Of course my son's border collie Birdie doesn't want to be left out so he and I and Daisy, who has gone to sleep, are all on the rug beside my bed, pressed up against my leg, waiting for dad to come home from the north pole. 

We have the windows all open and can see and smell the backyard, a lovely night and no one is saying a word. We are just being here together - something dogs do particularly well and people not well at all.

My daughter said to me today that I am a dog person but it is more than that. We all have our ways but for me dogs are part of my spirituality. In moments like this one you know they absolutely know what's important without any need for words. 

Dogs look ahead and are well aware of the sight of things unseen. 

They know that things don't last and they know that doesn't matter. 

They know that the time you spend next to someone you love lasts forever so that's pretty much all they concentrate on.

While I waited for the vet to call I put in the four invisible zippers into the taffeta flower girl dresses. When I looked at the last one I realized that it was a different colour, I had reached wrong. 

I will fix that tomorrow. Right now I am sitting.


Sharon said...

Oh poor Daisy, I hope all the surgery goes well and give her a big hug (carefully for me). I know what you mean about dogs, I love ours and can't imagine him not being here, and a 26kg Border Collie sleeping between us at night is just normal practice.

Donna W said...

Hugs to you and Daisy. You are a special person and Daisy knows that.

Anonymous said...

oh dear poor little Daisy, and poor you (because we feel the pain of our loved ones!). I am keeping a positive thought for all of you.


theresa said...

I'm that way with cats. We usually have a dog, but always, always, have a cat. The dog has a job - to walk me, a job she takes very seriously. The cat sleeps on the bed, the dog on the overstuffed chair in the corner. And I agree, pure contentment is sitting down with a cat in my lap and the dog next to me, just being. Hope your Daisy is on the mend soon.

Anonymous said...


Sometimes just sitting is a good thing.

I'm loving reading about Miss Daisy's transition into a dog who does dog things.

She is a special dog who has found her special family.

Sending all of you good thoughts, prayers and pixie dust. I think Miss Daisy really will appreciate the pixie dust. :)


Nana said...

Only dog people could understand the love and tenderness it brings to your life. My prayers for a peacefulness and painless recovery for daisy.

Anonymous said...

Oh Barb, I have felt everything you describe, and love your ability to put it into words. Wishing all of you the very best in waiting and coping, and special kindness for Miss Daisy along with heartfelt wishes for her recovery. And now I will go hug my own (long backed, short legged) dog, Sarah (rescued from Kentucky). Elizabeth in Massachusetts

Brenda said...

She's lucky to have you (and vice versa). Best wishes to the both of you through this situation.

patsijean said...

Oh, poor Miss Daisy. Trust me, she may be in severe to agonizing pain. I have a ruptured disc and I lost three months to pain. You are doing all the best things for her. Pain management is vital.

Mary said...

My 14 1/2 year old Doberman crawled up next to me in bed last night, laid her head on my pillow just under my chin, and burrowed in the length of me to cuddle. Let's just say I identify with your feelings. Hope Daisy feels better soon. And you, too. Hard to watch those we love suffer.

Anonymous said...

Peace, love, and contentment with no pain to Miss Daisy and you.

Teri said...

Every time your blog notice appears in my inbox I read it before anything else. I was so pleased when Miss Daisy had found you and was enjoying life with love and affection. I am saddened to hear of her troubles. Our critters are are loved ones and we feel their pain. You are doing everything you possibly can to help Miss Daisy and she most surely knows that. I will know that everything is going to work out just as it should for her and the pain management in the meantime is helping her cope.
Breathe. Repeat.
Teri in BC

Lucille said...

Have made the run to PEI with my sister and her lab. We thought it was all over - the pain was terrible and we felt every spasm. They rolled her from the parking lot into surgery and we picked up a very happy and mobile dog just a few days later. They do great work there! Just don't forget to clear the VISA before you go!

Barbara said...

Lucille thanks so much for posting this hopeful comment - needed that today - we will probably decide what way to go early next week if she doesn't pick up after the vet follow-up on Tuesday.

Thanks too for everyone on your support. Yes I know Daisy is just a little dog but she has tried so hard for a long time to take care of herself, it is my privilege to try to do that for her now. Such a small soul in a big world.

Jane M said...

Wonderfully said, Barb. Our friend's beagle just dealt with this situation and our friend slept downstairs on the sofa for a month just to keep her comforted while the sweet puppy recovered. Acupuncture helped, too....for the dog although my friend might have wanted it after the sofa for a month.

SuzieB said...

I hope the surgery can happen soon & that all goes well for Miss Daisy. A similar problem occurred with a friend's dog years ago, and the surgery was very successful.

To change the subject - I'm always late to the party. Your sister's & niece's dresses are so pretty & they look wonderful in them. Strong family resemblance between you & Nancy!

Also your daughter's outfit is very cute. She is so young & tall & lovely! Would she consider shortening the shirt hem to just above knee length? or have I watched too many Project Runway episodes? Anyway, it's a great outfit.

You are going to be a great looking mother of the groom! Love that Marfy pattern. It definitely deserves a muslin.