|Happy Meatballsgiving, all ten pounds of it! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Meatballs..? That famous cohort of spaghetti? You betcha. I’m thankful for meatballs because, in a way, they saved my dog’s life, and in turn, my own. The Mister and I are Super Crazy Dog People; we lavish all our love, attention and even a food scrap or two, upon our mysterious-breed mutt, Indy. A furry bundle of energy that adopted us ten years ago (she was found running around loose in a parking lot; no one ever claimed her), she’s a sweet, often fussy and insistent dog, who never lets us forget she is the center of the universe. When I made the scary decision to go completely freelance in my creative and culinary writing endeavors a few years ago, Indy was at my side – or rather, the space beneath my desk, at my feet – never letting me feel alone, as I faced an uncharted future before me. She could always sense my fear and sadness, and I’d immediately have a fuzzy face resting on my knee, demanding a muzzle-nuzzle (we call them snuzzles) or a head pat. That’s what pets do – they make us stop and discover a rare stillness amid so much noise. Indy is mentioned in my blog quite often, and a frequent subject of photography, because I will never tire of her inquisitive head-tilt. But for all our ridiculous love and affection for this strange, furry creature, we tried to be good owners and not overindulge her with food from our plates. Even when I was cooking in the kitchen, making messes, dropping food, Indy knew to stay out, as it was not her domain. I would leave food in easily-reachable spots during photo shoots, unattended as I stepped away to change a lens or find a prop – she never touched it. The rules came tumbling down when we discovered Indy has cancer.
I need to emphasize the word “has,” because, for the very grateful moment, Indy is still with us, but it wasn’t without a lot of heart wrenching days of tears and despair, watching our dog in horrible pain, as the cancer suddenly and rapidly took her over while we awaited test results. We were within hours of calling a service that lets you euthanize your pet at home, so that they can depart in a familiar place with their loved ones. Thankfully, with the help of several vets and specialists, we were able to stabilize her through medication and attempt to fight it, which we continue to do, this very moment. We know it’s not forever – nothing is -- but we’ve quickly learned to appreciate the present, and not to take any moment for granted.
|Fighting the good fight - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|A long, but worthwhile day in the kitchen, for a beloved friend - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
And so another Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. I sincerely thought we would be spending it with heavy hearts, but nothing short of a miracle has allowed us more time with Indy, and we have never felt more grateful. It’s a luxury to think too far into the future, we know the treatment buys us unspecified, uncertain time, but we remain thankful for every day we receive. I cherish every morning, when I awake to Indy’s fuzzy face and wagging tail, the way she lights up for walks, even the quiet times when she sleeps, and I can just listen to her tired sighs. We’ve transitioned her back onto regular dog food, blessedly with no meatball withdrawal, but I often think back to that day in the kitchen. It was a place that gave me purpose, and that first precious inkling that hope was possible.
|A very thankful Thanksgiving, indeed. Love and thanks to all.|