I ran over my dog yesterday.
I don't mean she was sitting in the garage and I rolled over her tail. I mean I hit her head on and rolled over her with the entire machine. Thank God it was a Gator.
Running both dogs at the end of the workday at the farm is something we do routinely. Yesterday was a beautiful day; we'd toured the whole property and were at the bottom of the driveway. I like to open up the Gator occasionally, letting it run fast up the 1000 ft. gravel drive; it puts the dogs through their paces and clears the engine a bit.
I checked the area around the end of the drive to be sure there was no trash or debris that needed picking up, turned, and started forward. The dogs ran alongside. Nothing out of the ordinary. I rounded the corner and accelerated.
Then it happened. On my left, Gretel sped up momentarily and cut right suddenly, directly into my path. She pulls this kamikaze maneuver routinely, but I've always been able to avoid her. Not so this time.
As the rear wheels cleared her body, I heard her yelp. It was sickening. I stopped the machine and set the parking brake. Bracing myself for the worst, I slid out of the driver's seat, and searched for my dog. She had jumped up, and skittered away, tail tucked tight and shaking. I knelt down and called to her. She scampered to me, panting. Quickly, I triaged for the most critical potential injuries. No compound fractures of the legs; everything seemed at least superficially in place; she wasn't favoring any side. I moved to her head. No blood in her mouth or eyes, no lacerations or protrusions. I did a 2-second inspection of her coat, looking for gashes, blood or abnormal bulges. Nothing jumped out at me aside from the muddy tire tracks that wrapped her torso.
All this took roughly 60 seconds. It seemed like hours, as my mind went to dark places and difficult scenarios. (The creative mind is its own worst enemy). For everyone's sake, I shifted into Happy Mommy Mode, pitching my voice to the squeaky tone animals and small children respond to.
"Oh, you're ok!" I trilled, hoping I was right. The jury was still out. I hadn't been able to palpate her belly yet, but put that on the back burner for the moment to see if she'd be able to run.
"Who wants to go home for some dinner?" I clapped my hands and bounced on my toes. "Anyone hungry?" I emphasized all the key K-9 words to gauge her reaction. Her ears pricked at the words, and she turned to run.
I hopped back into the Gator and moved forward, watching Gretel's movements closely and just beginning to thank God her injuries seemed relatively superficial. In her usual fashion, she ran ahead of the vehicle to the barn and circled the car, knowing it was time to load up.
Later, at home, after some treats of real meat and lots of love and attention, I was able to massage her abdomen to check for internal injuries. All seemed fine. She was eager to eat, and drinking patterns were normal. Aside from some spots of road rash on her left hind, she had come through the accident unscathed.
I was desperately grateful, and vowed to redouble my efforts to boost safety in all things. Aside from that, it was a reminder to be thankful for everything, even the bad stuff. Scary, painful, and arduous times happen in everyone's life. It's how we respond to them that counts. Accidents happen, despite the strictest safety measures, and we just have to make the best of the results.
Today's recipe is a relic from my childhood. I remember copying it down, using an erasable pen (remember those?), writing on my mother's butcher block counter tops, wedged into the corner by the phone where she kept her calender, scrap paper, and her omnipresent Stenograph pad. These memories sooth my frazzled nerves, and the recipe itself speaks to my gratitude to the Universe.
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugur (that's how I spelled sugar when I was 10)
1 package of mint chocolate chips
Beat together the first 3 ingredients until fluffy. Add slowly the sugur. Beat until stiff (makes peakes). Add the chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 350. Put cookies on cookie sheet with wax paper. (I would use parchment paper these days) Put in cookies, turn off oven. Let them stay in 6 hours or overnight.
I'm not just glad for major blessings. I'm also pleased to see my writing skills have improved a bit over the last 38 years...