I had a week off due to my current job situation and was able to book a last minute flight to California using a voucher I had through American Airlines. I hadn’t been “home” to California in 7 months and 5 days with my family was just what I needed after the whirlwind few months I had had. After a long day of flying my dad and brother Tyler picked me up in San Francisco.
After driving home, mom and I headed to In-N-Out (of course!) and then spent a couple hours visiting with the best grandparents ever. I always miss them so much 🙂
The next morning mom, Tyler and I headed to Santa Cruz. We had so much fun. So.Much.Fun. We got unlimited ride passes and spent a lot of time on the boardwalk riding rides, walked the pier, ate good Mexican food and enjoyed the sunshine & beach weather. My mom is a baller – she rode the craziest rides with us! In fact, she actually went on one with Tyler that I refused to go on.
Tyler and I on the Dragon Ship ride. I don’t know why I like this ride so much?
A little Sea Lion playing in water
And then this couple caught a crab!
Gorgeous day in Santa Cruz
Before another ride
I had made mental plans for the rest of my time in California. Spend time with my nieces and other brother Nate. Visit with my Aunt & her family. Visit my Grandmother in the rehab facility. She is recovering from respiratory failure. Visit with my Great Grandpa who recently turned 87 🙂 Spend time with my dad – maybe hike or fish together.
Thursday morning at 2:45am I got the call from Andrew and so began the real life nightmare. Copper. Emergency vet. Screaming. Pain. Leg limp. No movement. Vet. Neurologist. MRI. Probable Surgery. Recovery.
I was able to get a non-stop flight out of Sacramento into Denver – I would leave before noon. The cost of a one-way ticket back was much more than the cost of a round trip booked in advance. Airlines can be quite the rip off! Come to think of it, I don’t even know how I got a ticket to begin with. When I got to the airport Southwest had overbooked our flight by at least 2 seats.
I was able to pick Copper up around 5pm. The emergency vet had transferred him over to the care of the Neurology Center and he had been given a full neurological examination. The diagnosis wasn’t near as bad as I had initially thought but nothing prepared me for seeing Copper. He was paralyzed in his back leg and couldn’t walk. At all. He was screaming in pain. He was shaking in fear. He was traumatized. He was crying. He was depressed. He was hurt.
I look back on the past few days – Thursday afternoon and Friday and Saturday and it blows my mind how much I love Copper. So many people, I am sure, are thinking “he’s just a dog” when in reality, he is so much more than “just a dog.” Copper has been my constant. I have moved several times, lived in three different states, graduated college – TWICE, survived a horrific breakup after 7 years, lost loved ones, moved on from friends, survived nursing clinicals (somehow), gone through job changes. As life changed – Copper stayed by my side – loyal, loving and always resilient to the many changes of my life. He’s my very best friend. So many women my age have a family near by or are married, planning a wedding or have children. I have my dog. He means more to me than most humans. (Sorry, humans). I mean, let’s face it, he’s been by my side when I’ve been at my worst and at my best and he’s loved me all the same.
Copper is improving. Yesterday he was miraculously able to walk after a poor prognosis. His paralyzed leg could all of a sudden move. It was an absolute miracle. I know his rehabilitation is going to be long & difficult but he’s going to get through this and some day he’ll run laps around my living room again. God has already provided one miracle. Copper is such a resilient little thing – doing his best to adapt to his new life without the use of all four legs. I’m so impressed by how smart he is and how much he’s learned about adapting in just these past few days.
It’s back to work tomorrow… at the eating disorder recovery clinic. Turns out it was the job for me, after all. But that’s another story for another day… Life is crazy sometimes. I keep thinking about how my pastor’s continue to teach us that God does nothing in isolation. And after making it through these past few weeks I realize that it’s absolutely true. But that is also for another post on another day. Time to take my little three (working) legged best friend outside to enjoy the evening before it get’s dark. Thank you to those of you who have offered your love, prayers and support. You’re all wonderful!