Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dog

I had an awful day today.

I was sick in the morning despite a good rest, and had to do yoga sitting down. After 2 weeks without crutches, I was suddenly back on them, struggling to get along.

When I got on the bus to go to dog training, I was told there was a new rule now. Service dogs must lay on the floor of the bus now (this has always been the rule, but apparently there is a new effort to enforce it). I froze. My doggy practically needs to be wrapped around my neck when I travel. The pressure lowers my heart rate when I am having an episode. Not to mention the soft fuzzy fur and yummy smell.

But I had to comply. I walked onto the bus and put my dog in a down on the floor. No, not working. I started getting distressed. I tried to sit on the floor with the dog between benches, but it was too tight. My vertigo kicked in. I got sick and dizzy. I began to panic. I finally moved to the back section of the bus, and sat on the floor with my legs wedged against the back of a bench, doggy in my lap.

I was on my way to have my dog assessed by a institute that trains service dogs. I was already told that most dogs are not deemed suitable due to temperament and other issues. I have been struggling with the prospect of giving up my dog for a trained service dog. So the journey felt like a death march, empty and meaningless.

Today there were few riders on the bus. But how in the world would i manage on a normal day? How will I ever get anywhere? This new rule spelled the end of my independence, I was sure. It seemed hopeless. I became increasingly agitated and started sobbing. I wanted out.

If this weren't too much, I had to pee in a stairwell at the trolley station, since no one bothered to unlock the restrooms. And I thought about the revenge poop at the West 4th Street Station in New York – in the stairwells, and on the escalator, round and round. And I thought about the dog whose front leg was degloved after his toes got caught in an escalator grill.

And I downed a fistful of doggy kibble that I mistook for my salty snacks in my confused, low oxygen state. It took a minute for the taste to register. "Hmmmm, where's the salt?" It tasted gravelly and strange. Dog looked concerned at my newly acquired taste.

I had an amazing day today.

My dog passed the test with flying colors. He was perfect and charming – absolutely calm. I should have had more faith in him.

When I got on the bus to come home, the bus driver told me to make sure I had a good hold on the dog. He waited until I sat down, lifted my doggy onto my lap, and wrapped my arms around him, before taking off.

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