Everyone needs to be patient

The Dog Grumbler

I’M writing this from my hospital bed.

I couldn’t have managed it yesterday, nor the day before, but as I recover from surgery, I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up on things.

Sleep is high on the list and I’m getting better at it all the time.

Breakfast in bed is definitely something I could get used to — especially a bed that turns into a recliner, and when someone asks “How are you today?” I can’t help feeling they are genuinely interested in my answers.

Nonetheless, as my recovery progresses, I miss home and I miss my dog.

She knows I’m in here – she came with us when my wife brought me in for admission and she has waited in the car on subsequent visits.

She knows my back hurts because it has done so for as long as she has known me.

We have told her what’s happening and on some level she seems to understand.

I wish I could explain to her that the wait will be worth it.

My goal is longer walks — not having to stop every fifty metres or so when my legs no longer respond to my wishes.

The food here is fine.

I keep looking down for the dog as I near the end of each meal and she’s not there.

Should I ask a nurse for a doggy bag?

“Good morning, how are you today?”

“I miss my dog.”

“Oh, you have a dog? What kind?”

The kind that opens her eyes when she wakes and immediately looks for me.

The kind that needs nothing in her life but me and any leftovers I scrape into her bowl.

The kind that goes wherever I go and waits wherever I tell her to wait.

The kind that loves me despite my myriad failings, who understands me on a level nobody else comes close to, who will challenge the meanest intruder on my behalf.

“Toy poodle.”

“Really? You don’t look like a toy poodle guy.”

I used to say she belonged to my wife.

I’m a border collie guy, everybody knows that.

She’s so clever, and every time I Iook down, there she is — usually anyway.

At home I would be mowing the lawn, washing the car, fixing the kitchen tap — back and legs allowing.

For once I can sleep in and watch TV.

But when I look down, she’s not there.

It’s not that I can’t get by without her – it’s the knowledge that she won’t be happy until I come home.

I guess we both need to be patient.

I am cheered by the fact that the operation seems to have worked.

Today I walked the length of the corridor unaided and although my back still aches, my legs are working perfectly.

As of now I’m in training and when we are together again, and the universe is back in balance, we are going to walk for miles.

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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