I wish I could tell you that Max is busily playing fetch in the backyard. I wish I could tell you he’s out on a hike in the mountains. I wish I could tell you he has a new forever home complete with kids and sheep and open pastures in the sun. I wish I could tell you of the miraculous improvements he’s made since his departure from the hospital or even just tell you that finally FINALLY the doctors have figured out what is ailing him and have prescribed a sure-fire treatment plan.
But I can’t tell you any of this. I can only tell you that Max is making slow and steady progress marked by a more vigorously wagging tail, a brighter twinkle in his eyes, and desire to eat every meal put before him. I can tell you that he’s living again with his long-term foster Mom, Suzanne, who is providing him with the best care possible — massage, Reiki, vitamin therapy, supplements, and most importantly unconditional love — and that daily he walks a bit more and engages a bit more and is slowly SLOWLY moving toward wellness in whatever form that may ultimately be for him.
It’s ironic in many ways that we are back to square one. When he arrived in October he could not walk, he was covered in his own filth, and his body was ravaged by multiple skin infections. While everyone hoped for the forever-family-pasture-of-sheep-running-thourgh-the-woods recovery, he has instead been through the wringer and just now has emerged with no more skin infections, a solid appetite, and the ability to walk short distances.
What I really want — what we all really want — is for Max to find his way to being a completely healthy and happy dog — well-muscled, physically fit, and standing tall in his life surrounded by everything he loves and everything that can love him back. But this journey appears to be a long one with numerous twists and turns in a path we all wish were more direct and certain.
I try to reassure myself that back at square one is so much better than where we were two weeks ago, is so much better than Max laid out in the hospital with a catheter and an IV. Call me Mr. Impatient, but in my mind Max deserves a more speedy route to recovery. Call me Mr. Selfish, but in my mind Max deserves a hike (with me) along my favorite wooded trail, a leisurely stroll on the beach, the simple ability to run up a flight of stairs without resting every third step.
But we are at square one…perhaps square two…and as long as we keep moving ahead, I will breathe a bit more easily.