It’s going to be a long night for me.
Over the past 18 months our new dog Remington Martin has, as all new dogs do, wormed his way into our hearts with his unique personality.
This morning he was slightly lethargic. With a dog so young, Rochelle and I were a bit dismissive at first, assuming he’d just gotten into something in the back yard. But his slow consumption of his food this morning (he’s normally Speed Racer at eating) and his inability to drink any water led us to the vet for a routine check and blood test.
Fast forward 11 hours and he’s in the hospital on an IV for a probable Auto-immune disorder. He’s fine as I write this, out of any immediate danger. But my panic throughout the day as the prognosis grew worse and worse once again showed the value of social media.
From the first tweet that he was in trouble hundreds of messages poured out saying people were thinking of him and us, praying for him and us, or otherwise wishing us well.
I’m too much a realist to believe these thoughts will actually determine Remington’s outcome. But I am a humanist enough in that I treasure and love every single person who replied with their own way of sharing their thoughts on what was happening.
Remy had a bone marrow test tonight. I cannot even imagine what that entails. But he was such a trooper about it that, while under normal circumstances they put the animal under in order to do it, he was so well behaved they just used a heavy sedative. We just called the hospital, because neither one of us is doing ok, and they said he was as alert as can be. He’s fine for the moment.
“If you don’t hear from us tonight, that’s good news” they told us when we left him. They said that, but his ears were back and he was scared in his open air kennel. It was hard to see him like that, but I knew deep down he was in the best of hands. And it occurred to me he was in better hands than most humans actually.
I have a new iPad2, a sort of retail therapy. I’ve been checking twitter all night with it and I have a wonderful mixture of messages. Some people didn’t realize anything was wrong and simply thought I was tweeting about Remy like I always do and tweeted back their own dogs and pictures. That was nice. Others followed each tweet and told me that they were thinking of Remy and me and Rochelle. Tonight I had pre-arranged a dinner for friends of mine in Dallas and they sent me messages too.
So I guess what I am trying to write about is just this interconnected feeling. I’m scared for Remington. He’s a simple creature, now surrounded by capable but ultimately unfamiliar surroundings. And he’s not feeling his best. I love everything about him, his quirks and behaviors and how he’s fit into our family.
And I have this absurd love for the Internet right now. My friends have sent me messages, and total strangers too. People who have never met Remington wish him well and health. And wish me and Rochelle the best in dealing with it. It’s not unlike how the Internet can rise up to the occasion of planet impacting tragedy.
In the end we’re lucky to be even able to afford the luxury of three dogs. In the grand scheme of life’s problems, there are many people on the Earth who would rather have this situation than their own.
I think of Remington’s simple happy grin when he’s outside at the park, his good humor. And I think that if he had a brain larger than a walnut and more evolutionary developed, he’d say we humans should spend more of our time trying to make each other feel like we’re holding a squirmy gleeful puppy.
So if you’re reading this, and you feel bad that my wonderful boy is feeling sick and sad and alone in a vet hospital, think about all the humans who are in similar circumstances, or worse. Or even all the wonderful pets in similar circumstances.
No matter what befalls Remington Martin, we’ll deal with it. But there are many out there facing far far worse situations who can’t. So!
Tonight I spent a significant amount of money on Remington. And I commit to spending just as much on a charity of my choice because I am incredibly lucky to be well paid for my job (I’ll add in the price of that iPad). I ask only that you consider where, and how, you can make a difference in something that is important to you.
And go fucking do it. Like, now.