The other night, I was so overwhelmed with these responsibilities, add the daily task of caring for a high maintenance 13 year old, that I just lost it. I crumpled into tears and pitiful helplessness - not a state I'm at all used to or remotely comfortable with. In fact, admitting this to you all is a bit, well, embarrassing. Matt, my loving partner of 10 years, reminded me of an important metaphor:
I wanted to have fun with Nyxie and it suddenly occurred to me that we hadn't been to the new dog park in my city since it opened. Not that this is shocking - Nyxie has rejected her own kind for years now. This is something I'm working on with her, but it's taking time and the very patience I've lacked recently. The park was clean, and divided into 4 separate fields. When we arrived, Nyxie sniffed the air and even though she'd never been there, she began to whine excitedly. She never barked at anyone or their dogs, and when we walked through the gates to the airlock, her whining intensified. She remembered what a dog park is and what it signified - running, fun, and freedom!! She dashed around, over and over running straight at me and veering right or left at the last possible second. What a blast! We ran together until we sank exhausted into the grass.
Who needs an oxygen mask when you have dogs to save you from yourself!