One look at him and it’s plain to see that my dog is losing his mind.
One look at him and for a second you too might think that the sky is falling.
All day long, he’s terrified of an imaginary threat, careening toward him to break him into little pieces. He is always cowering, looking up to the sky. Every couple of steps and he’s held captive by this non-existent force, ducking out of its way, his eyes tightly shut, his tiny body bracing for impact.
Step, step, step, cower. Step, step, step, duck.
Overall, he’s a spry little guy. He just turned 13 this summer and he’s taken it like a champ. His little Yorkie body is still in good overall health and he can chase chipmunks like a pup.
But his mind is slipping. I can see it unraveling.
I can’t quite remember my life before Scout. Surely I loved and lived before this tiny furball came into the picture, right? I just can’t seem to remember.
This fear is made up. It’s all in his mind. I know that because I can see the big picture. I can see there is nothing above him. The sky is not falling. There is no threat. He is safe.
“It’s ok, buddy. You’re ok. I’m here. You’re going to be ok.”
Sometimes he listens and calms. But most of the time he’s too busy looking up. He can’t hear me. His fear has taken over and he’s paralyzed like a deer in the middle of the road staring into the headlights. Blind.
My heart hurts with every cower. All day long, we are quite a pair. He’s wracked with worry and I’m trying to comfort him, my assurances falling on deaf ears.
I think I get it now…
I’m waiting for the sky to fall, too. Stepping cautiously and quietly into the next chapter in case I’m too loud and it’s too good for me. If I step too confidently, the earth might give way. It might all come crashing down and I will drown in the rubble.
Trusting life has always been a challenge for me. Something about childhood and divorces and a family come undone. Knowing that good will come and stay doesn’t come naturally for me. So I worry.
Happy has a time limit, an expiration date and my time is running out. I’ve used it up. I’m in the reserves at this point. The sputtering sure to begin any moment. I’m bracing myself for impact.
But God is there, trying to reassure me that there is no danger here. The sky is not falling. The sun and the moon and the stars are strung for me. The bottom is not going to buckle. My foundation is solid. I will not drown.
“It’s ok, Suzanne. You’re ok. I’m here. You’re going to be ok.”
Sometimes I hear Him. But most of the time I’m too busy in my whirlwind of what if’s and how comes.
And I realize that once again, my little 7 pound Yorkie has taught me about life.