Day 88: Real Love
88/100 → Lately, we've been learning all the real challenges that come with loving a dog. It started when Nica strained one of her hind legs after jumping too high too fast, and now it's been too long. The limp has become her. We took her to the vet, got all the meds, and because we had no choice, we limited her exercise in favor of rest. But Nica, we learned, was a wild dog. Nothing riled her up more than house rest so she found ways to escape from our house. At night. When the beach was devastatingly dark. What chances did our flashlights have at beaming across her familiar figure at 11pm, and again at 12 and 1 and 2 and 3am, until exasperation set in. Our bellowing voices hushed. We contemplated leaving her leash at the beach.
The silly dog came home, eventually, but only to run away again the next day. And the next day. And even when we fortified our fence to avert her plans, she would find a way out anyway.
Until another dog beat her up. She limped home all scratched and bloody, her old limp worse than ever, and the punctures on her body revealed that it must have been quite a fight.
All real love is hard. You've got to know what to do with pain. You've got to face the reality of loss as if it was happening right now. Other people will hurt the ones you love, and you've got to be ready to help in the healing. If not, it's not real love.