One unforeseen benefit of nursing a sick dog is the fact that he’ll wake you at all hours of the night to go outside. On the one hand, going into the New Hampshire cold after an all-day mix of wet snow and freezing rain isn’t the most fun way to spend a Friday night: the unshoveled snow was covered with a thin, unstable crust of ice, and shoveled surfaces were glazed with nearly invisible slickness. There’s nothing more pathetic, I think, than watching a whimpering, listless dog slipping over frozen snow trying to find a sheltered place to vomit. Usually I try to hurry Reg when he does his nightly routine of sniffing and peeing around the yard before bedtime, but last night I didn’t have the heart to rush him, even when he woke me past midnight for yet another emergency trip.
And yet while I fretted over a dog whose suffering I was helpless to mitigate, last night past midnight I was struck at how quiet and serene my backyard was. I already knew via Paperfrog that last night’s moon was particularly high overhead; I also knew from seeing that moon earlier in the evening that it was full and wondrously lustrous, crystal clear in the cold winter sky.
What I hadn’t expected, though, were the moon shadows: one human-shaped, the other canine. I can’t remember the last time I was out and about past midnight even on a Friday night, but last night I learned that most of my neighbors are asleep then…at least the ones who aren’t college students and thus haven’t left Keene to go home for the holidays. On a cold winter’s night when nearly everyone else is asleep with lights out, the full moon high overhead does cast shadows: two bluish blobs following Reggie’s and my feet as we picked our careful way over ice-crusted snow.
No, Reggie’s not better…and the vet isn’t sure why. Yesterday afternoon it took three women–doctor, vet tech, and Mom–to wrestle a wriggling Reg while a blood sample was taken…and now we wait for word on what’s Really Wrong. Stay tuned…