Yesterday, I noticed that Doug had set a photo from our trip to Ireland as wallpaper on his computer upstairs. "This was taken a year ago today," he said. Wow. He's right--it's been a year already. A year since we hiked the Wicklow Mountains, pub-crawled through Dublin, walked the strand to James Joyce's tower, toured Kilmainham Gaol, sat and watched the swans gliding on the Grand Canal.
And, more important, a year since Boscoe was diagnosed with his diabetes.
That first week, in Wicklow, we had no computer access. As we hiked across the hills, we wondered how the boys were doing. We imagined messages from Boscoe: "Check the e-mail. Things are not going well." We didn't really believe that, but we were a little nervous. The old guy was almost 14 years old, after all, and it had been some time since we had left them for any amount of time--two years since Paris.
When we got to the Schoolhouse Inn in Dublin, one of the first things we did after checking into our room was check the e-mail. It was a very cumbersome set-up, with a rickety keyboard and an only sometimes-working remote control, all beamed from the television set that was mounted on the wall above the dresser.
There were several e-mails from Karlie, our dog-walker (and veterinarian's assistant). We clicked through them. The first few said that things were going great. Then we got one, dated a couple of days before, that asked an anxious question: "Boscoe is peeing all over the house. Is this normal?" But the next message--saying that Boscoe wasn't eating--told us that something was terribly wrong. Boscoe, all his life, has been nothing but an enthusiastic eater.
(Too enthusiastic--once he ate right through the pocket of Doug's shirt because Doug had, for reasons too complicated to explain, stashed a gnawed-on chicken wing there.)
Thank god for Karlie, who knew just what to do--she recognized the symptoms (excessive water-drinking, excessive urination, lack of appetite, weight loss) brought him in, and got him started on insulin.
I will never forget our return to St. Paul, arriving at midnight to a house that needed a complete scrubbing, and a dog that needed an insulin shot in the morning before we knew how to administer one. (YouTube has some great how-to videos.)
And now, a year later, Boscoe is doing very well. Eating well (no shirt pockets lately), peeing a normal amount, good energy unless it's hot and sunny. We are preparing for another trip Up North, and while the hikes will be short, thank god there will still be hikes.
Here's the man of the hour a couple of nights ago, watching "Mad Men" with me on the couch.
Today's nature note: A lovely soaking rain overnight. I woke up at 3 a.m. (nature called for Boscoe, and I had to take him out), and when I got back to bed I turned off the fan and opened the window and lay there for a long time, listening to its gentle, soothing patter.
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