Lessons from Smokie

Lessons from Smokie

Last Tuesday, my pooch and I experienced something so crazy that he’s still recovering physically and I’m still recovering emotionally. Smokie, although he is a lot more clingy, seems to be remembering life before “The Incident” more and more every day, as evidenced by his new willingness to cross the street to relieve himself (as I keep him right in front of my house because I’m still wary of even being outside especially if the sun is not at its peak).

Ok, so by now, I’m sure you’re like will she tell the story already? Lol, okay, here goes.

So Tuesday night, after a night of creating my first painting just for my baby and signed mommy, I came home and took Smokie out for his routine last walk of the night in the nonexistent safety of my own partially gated subdivision. I always let him off the leash to poop because he doesn’t like pooping on the street (and neither do I). After he turned the corner, a coyote, yes, a coyote, jumped out the bushes across the street to where Smokie was. I ran in the house to find a weapon all the while fighting the urge to hyperventilate because pregnant girls who don’t tote guns don’t have many options and although I wanted Smokie to be okay, I didn’t want to put myself or my baby in danger. Running back outside armed with a boot (smh), I saw the coyote had dragged Smokie to the other side of the street and was trying to carry him back into the brush, but Smokie was giving him trouble. Although he was way bigger than my little brave honey pie, Smokie wouldn’t just lie there and let him kill him. So what did I do? While crying because Smokie’s screams were breaking my heart, I stood in the street in front of my house screaming over and over for Smokie to just get to me. Smokie squirmed enough to get out of its mouth one more time–this time his neck was in its mouth–and outran the coyote to get to me and we went inside where I started the process of figuring out what the hell to do with this dog who was scared and shaking, with holes all over his back bleeding.

We eventually (quickly but it didn’t seem like it then because since Animal Control was NO help I had to go upstairs, get on the Internet, find my own after hours pet hospital while shaking and trying to keep my eye on Smokie to make sure he was alert even though he was hiding and call to make sure they would take him and could help him) got to The Ark Animal Hospital, where after I completed a load of paperwork, Smokie was put under and rushed to surgery. A little over a week later, Smokie is doing better, finally off pain meds (read: doggie morphine), not limping anymore, and I can see some of the wounds healing, although the deepest ones are still presenting problems. Yesterday, I had to take him back in because one was wide open and needed to be restapled. Since I was told by Animal Control that they don’t handle wild animals regardless of the clear danger to public safety, I’m extra uncomfortable to be outside for over the couple of minutes it takes me to check my mailbox and let Smokie use it right by my driveway. Any time I have an errand to run, I prefer to just take him with me so he can pee and poop without fear of a coyote going at his neck.

But since I’ve had a week to stop seeing the coyote jump across the street and hearing Smokie’s screams every single night when I close my eyes, there are a couple of lessons I’ve gotten from Smokie.

1. No matter how big the problem, don’t just lie there and take it. When we got to the hospital, the nurse said Smokie lived because of his will to get away. She said she’s seen many pets who play possum when in the same situation, which of course doesn’t really work–it just guarantees death. Smokie took that coyote head on with all odds against him, and although he definitely suffered from the battle (and so did my wallet), he’s alive to tell about it to keep me inspired. I can’t believe how brave he was, but I’m so grateful he’s a fighter because Butterbean and I need him around. 🙂 Don’t give in just because your problem seems monumental. You have to fight and pray to make it to the other side of it.

2. Run to the one you know you can count on. Sometimes, and I know this currently, we focus on the problem and shut down and close everything and everyone out. But when we’re weak, we have to run to the people we know have our backs. I will admit I’ve been kinda distant in my spiritual relationship but that’s a whole other post, but my pastor and my mom have been right there to remind me who to turn to and to remind me that I’m going to be a-ok because I have them and I have God. It seems hard, but it definitely was only instinct for Smokie to know what direction safety was in. I wonder what I can do to make my instinct clearer/stronger.

3. You have to leave the wound alone a little to let it heal. Part (not all because the doc left it partially open for it to drain–but definitely part) of the reason Smokie has this one particular wound that just won’t start looking any better is because it irritates him so and he licks it when it’s at its worse. It’s hard, but I’ve had to be more intentional in steering my thoughts from my issues to other things when I can make myself do that because giving my issues so much of my energy just makes it worse. And the point here is not to say ignore the issue–one of my main gripes with people who think they’re being good friends is that they like to say oh you’re making it a big deal, just get over it, buck up, or just pretend they don’t know anything is wrong with me, etc. when it’s not something I can switch on and off and it’s not as easy as welp, whatever, let me move on now as if my life is hunky dory. The point really is that you have to acknowledge the issue–find help, get it stapled up like Smokie’s wound if possible, and then try to steer your thoughts to better things that give you hope when your mind wants to linger at the source of your hurt. Don’t at all pretend you don’t have a gaping wound–but don’t spend the day licking it. If you can ignore the sting even a little bit a day, it’ll help bring you out of the fog.

Here’s a song I keep humming so I decided to go ahead and listen to it when I started writing this. So of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t share. (And I particularly like this version because he’s got Corinne on the background vocals!)

So, just pray for my sweet thang Smokie and for me. Trouble don’t last always, right? And one day, he will look normal again and maybe I’ll figure out a solution to this coyote problem in my neighborhood. Who knew that when I moved I would be moving to a hood AND forest? *raised eyebrow*

And since my mom just texted it to me, I’ll share:

Only God can turn a “Mess” into a “Message”, a “Test” into a “Testimony”, a “Trial” into a “Triumph”, a “Victim” into a “Victory”!!!

Just another experience to share in my memoir one day. 🙂 Happy almost weekend!

MLM: Life’s Challenges

MLM: Life’s Challenges

I picked this post, written 10/10/06, because it’s funny to me now, 4 years later, that I actually titled it “Life’s Challenges” (when the challenges seem like much more of blips on the radar–but maybe that’s a brain thing–maybe my current challenges are just as surmountable as they were then and as soon as I overcome them, I’ll be laughing about it). It’s also funny just how consistent I am.  In this post, I talk about someone who can dish smart aleck comments but can’t take them, I talk about my birthday plans, I talk about my social life, and I talk about being busy.  Well, guess what.  I was just dealing with someone who can dish the sarcasm but can’t take it; I just sent an email about part 1 of my birthday plans (an awesome trip to do some volunteer work in New Orleans, my fave city) and I’m still trying to figure out part 2; I was just telling a friend that I feel old now because it seems that now I hibernate in the winter with the exception of Red Tie Soiree and that I’m not the young socialite I used to be; and I am still as busy as ever (but now I have a handle on it).  I love it that even my blog shows what people tell me all the time–I’m one of the most consistent people alive.  Another thing that is consistent over time is that when I’m stressed or feeling challenged, although it’s hard sometimes, I try to focus on other, not so stressful parts of my life while overcoming the challenge (which is why only part of this post is actually about my challenges then).  Anywho, I hope you enjoy this window into the past.

I didn’t go to bed till about 5:30 this morning. And I have to leave my apt to 7:25 to ensure timely arrival to work. I left at 7:45. Yes, I was late. WHy did I stay up so late? Because my partner in one of my classes is something… He sent me his part of the paper we’re writing (mind you, I’m the one compiling our findings to make a consistent and worthwhile paper AND editing) at 12:15. YES, 12:15. And do you think he appreciates any of the extra I’ve had to give in order to make assignments even remotely okay? Nope, cuz he’s too worried about whether or not I’m kissing his ass (and I’m not). Every thing that I say results in a “Why are you so mean?” or “You shouldn’t be so sarcastic.” To which I reply, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it. He always has smart ass things to say, but he can’t handle when I simply reply. I know this is a test from above, so I’m trying to hold my peace and make it through this class without cursing him out. And the paper still isn’t done. But after his monologue about how we’re a team and if he needs to sacrifice to get it done, he will, I’m letting him. I’m sacrificing my assurance in myself to write a good paper to let him write a possibly mediocre one since I had to take off work last time we had an assignment because of his late ass. And he had the audacity to tell me how he’s juggling so much as if I’m not. UGH! Lord, help me through, PLEASE! But because I wrote most of it and gave him directions about what is needed to complete the paper, hopefully, he can’t botch it up too bad. And I’m still going to review it before we turn it in. I just hope I have enough time to edit if I need to.

Anyhow, on to more positive things to think about. I woke up because of a very plain but somehow very meaningful “Good morning.” text from someone I only see in a social setting every blue moon, and it really made me smile and get on up and tackle a new day on less than 2 hours sleep. Looks like I quite possibly got my mojo back. *hmmm* I need to find my calendar so that I can try to make time for special people.

I am throwing a birthday party the weekend before my birthday. I’m so excited about it. This weekend and next weekend we are gonna shop venues. I’m leaning toward the Royal since I’ve been there more than once and since it’s one of those low-key under-the-radar spots. But I’ll have to see if I can get the DJ to be a smidge more crunk. I usually like the laidback thing, but I have a feeling I’m gonna wanna shake my groove thang that night. But we have a copla more places on the list to check out. I would go back to Sutra (where I threw my graduation party) if they hadn’t tried to kick me out of my own party even though I wasn’t doing anything but sitting down looking inebriated. Ugh. But yeah I’m sure out of the places on this list we’ll find a good spot. I just gotta find me a super fly outfit. And I gotta do something with my hair. I don’t think I want the big fro that night. I think I’ll want a sleek sexy look. 🙂

Have I said on here how much I love being a little urbanite/socialite? I love mixing and mingling and expanding my social network. I like it that people know they can count on me to support them, whether it be a community service activity or a party or a roundtable discussion or a happy hour. I like being that girl that people love to send their evites to. I bask when people call during their event to ask where I am if I haven’t arrived yet. I didn’t really have a point for that besides that I just really enjoy the social part of my life.

Who am I kidding? I pretty much enjoy all parts of my life. Staying busy with the stuff at the top of my priority list keeps me happy. Yeah, I get stressed out every now and then, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have my hands in a bunch of worthwhile activities/projects at one time. I enjoy seeing projects from start to finish. I enjoy seeing stuff executed properly and successfully. I enjoy working with those people with whom I work very well. Oh yeah, and I enjoy making A-‘s on my first midterm! *yay me* I still want to push to do better on the second midterm and final, but I’m so happy that so far I have a solid A in that class. I’ll need it since I’m not so certain about making an A in the other class. And since my stream of consciousness has guided me full circle, I guess it’s time for me to sign off. Until next time, folks!

And I’m still talking about my hair and what to do when I’m not wearing a big fro.  lol. I have an event in a couple of weeks, and I need another “sleek” style.  We’ll see what happens.

Here’s a song to get you through life’s challenges.

Happy Monday, folks!