I’ve been struck by the challenges and sadness experienced by many friends in my community recently. We’ve seen two houses burned, a matriarch passed, a leg broken, a puppy killed, a sister succumed to cancer, and more. It’s just too much, isn’t it?
But we can’t control it. We can’t control how or when the wind blows pain into our zone. We can control how we react to it. We can control how we help each other and love each other. And we can control how we move forward to share the light and joy in each day.
Yesterday Shane and I were far too busy to drive six hours to Pullman, Washington. We were far too overbooked to sit in the Washington State University Veterinary Hospital listening to squawking birds, howling hounds, mewing kittens and a fritzing coffee pot. But that’s where we are now. Texting family and friends. Waiting to hear the next part of what we can’t control. 

     This morning we learned that our beloved dog, Jolene has a brain infection.

     Jolene came into our lives like a wrecking ball three years ago. We’re sure no other dog runs faster, swims harder, snuggles closer, wags more violently or ravages garbage more efficiently. She’s a strange and dorky girl, but she’s a damn happy one. She and I love trying to keep up with each other, sliding on mud and snow. She goes where I go… I go wherever she wants. Fortunately, she always wants to go to the river.
     Now she can’t run, she can’t walk, she can’t swim. She can’t control her eyes or her paws. The infection in her brain changed her life in a moment of rare acute onset. It came out of nowhere. It blew in on the wind for no reason, as these things do. She just started shaking uncontrollably on Monday night, at a time when she otherwise would have been ready to haul ass out the door for an evening river walk with me. It was terrifying!
     So far, the neurologists have to refer to the inflammation in her brain as Meningeoncephalitis, but they won’t know if the infectious disease is caused by a fungus, wood tick or deer carcass until test results come back next week.
Jolene fished on Sunday. She trail ran on Monday. She was hospitalized on Tuesday and had an MRI today. Tomorrow…who knows? Who ever knows, right?
We just keep on keepin’ on and giving and taking and loving each other in our unique skin, feathers, scales and fur.

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