That Girl’s Blog: If You Had One More Day

 

There was no snow in the forecast. In fact, there hadn’t been any snow to speak of this entire season. None, unless you count that one half-inch dusting a month or so ago. It was just enough that the dogs, Mazzy and Loca, pushed and shoved and tumbled their way out the back door, down the steps and out into the yard. They barreled out into the snow like children ready for recess, except the dogs just wanted to be the first to squat in the new white snow.

That moment seems so long ago.

Recently, I spent the night laying on the floor with Mazzy. I am sure we looked like two wet towels in a heap next to the back door. Mazzy was in pain and I was in anguish. My gentle giant of a dog is almost 12 years old. She has outlived as many of her littermates as I have kept track of over the years.

She has had issues in the past where I’ve come home from work and it took her a little longer to amble down the hallway to greet me, but this was different. Mazzy, the polar-bear dog, as some children have named her, didn’t get up. I tried to help her to her feet, but she let out an extremely loud yelp that let me know something was very wrong.

Mazzy, is an Akbash, or a white Anatolian Shepherd Dog, and weighs in at over 100 pounds. In her mind, she has one job: silently watch over her domain. Her domain, by the way, is the entire neighborhood. Our daily walks are slow as she saunters and sniffs, stops and starts, and looks and listens. If there is a car she doesn’t recognize, we have to investigate. If there is a child playing, we have to stand still until the child comes over to say hello. If there is another dog, we must have time to catch up on the day’s adventures – all without barking.

Mazzy reserves her barks for special occasions, and none of those occasions are good: someone walking along the property, a young child wandering without parents nearby, an unfamiliar dog unattached to a human, or coyotes. Otherwise, Mazzy is majestically quiet.

To hear Mazzy yelp and whimper was unbearable. She attempted to get up, but she was unable to support her own weight on her front leg and her back hips wavered until she sat down again.

The veterinarian gave us a bottle of pills for her pain. At home, we had the discussion about just making her “comfortable,” which left me inconsolable.  My sweet, strong puppy was now suddenly old and frail.

The pills just made Mazzy sleepy and she barely lifted her large head off the floor when I offered her dinner. I pulled a blanket over and laid on the floor next to her. She would fidget uncomfortably if I put my arm across her body, so I just lay there next to her.

Would this be the last time I could bury my face in her long white coat? Did I already have my last long walk with her? Why can’t dogs just tell you what’s the matter when they’re hurting?

The next morning was hard. She was limping terribly, but the pills were enough to let her stand while she ate. I helped her out the door and into the yard lifting her weight like a war buddy when she needed help up and down the stairs.

Her posture was hitched and her eyes had no spark in them. She had no interest in who or what was passing by. I helped her back inside and my heart sank as I kissed her goodbye and left for work.

I cried the whole way to work.

When I got home she had re-positioned herself, but it didn’t look like she’d had a good day.

If time was running out, or if you could go back in time and have one special day with your most trustworthy friend, what would you do?

I began to think of ways to spoil my old girl. Steaks? Toys? She was limping too much for a walk on the beach, and a long car ride would have been nearly impossible.

Mazzy is always happiest in the snow.

I made up my mind that, somehow, someway, I would find snow for Mazzy.

I pleaded with every deal-maker I could think of: Mother Nature, Zamboni drivers, the spirits of elders, the soothsayers of social media … PLEASE GIVE MAZZY ONE LAST SNOW DAY!

And it happened.

Two days later, on February 21, with a 10 percent chance of precipitation, it snowed! Without any rational explanation, a fluffy quilt of snow fell across parts of the Cape, including my back yard. There was enough snow that Mazzy was able to roll around, take a few mouthfuls and raise her head up to feel the flakes land on her nose.

The snow only lasted a few hours and, by lunchtime, it had melted, leaving no evidence the squall had ever happened. For those few hours, though, my heart washed over with every emotion from joy to disbelief to bittersweet sadness. Mazzy got her snow. I only wish I knew who or what or how to say thank you.

One more day.

I wonder if there was something about that snow that perhaps gave something extra special to Mazzy, too. We have been able to go for walks again, and her appetite has remained strong. We adjusted her diet and medication and added CBD oil. Her hips are still weak, so we walk a little slower and sometimes stop to rest. That said, she is strong enough to support her own weight again and occasionally the added weight of my neighbor’s 2-year-old son when he gently leans against her saying hello to the “fluffy puppy.”

Every day is a gift. 

Listen to That Girl in the Morning on Cape Country 104

 

Have you got a story to share? Please email me: CatWilson@CCB-Media.com 

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.



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