White Dog leaned against me late Saturday, once Steve had returned from school and the White Dog Army was fed and relaxing in the living room. "You can breathe again, Momma!" I scritched her ears and asked, "what?" "It has been 72 hours since Quinn's fall and nothing has happened. He seems like his usual self and other than needing a little rimadyl once or twice hasn't had any ill effects. He is going to be fine."
I squeezed the Little White Dog of My Heart and silently sent a prayer to the Universe asking that her words be true. It has been a roller coaster ride the past few days both with Quinn and with Michael, who as many have guessed is in some ways slower to forgive himself than Quinn was. We work very hard to create an environment free of fear--whether it is fear of falling, fear of losing something precious, fear of messing up. And I can understand Michael's difficulty in letting go, more than once during the past several days I have been jolted to tears at the thought of losing Quinn suddenly and disasterously.
The longer I am part of Pack the more in awe I become of the inate wisdom of our four-legged members. I am certain The Other White Dog has not spent a moment thinking, "Wow! What if I had landed differently and broke my neck?" He growled at Michael the night of the accident not out of malice but out of confusion and fear; after, it never occured to our boy to hold a grudge or hate. Quinn walks trustingly beside Steve or Michael past the stairs (door firmly closed and with a sign now) to go out to the yard; he never hesitates nor seems to relive the events of the other day. The rest of the White Dog Army were there, surrounding him in a circle of safety when he needed it, but now seem to know that what is best is to not overprotect him. They in the nonchalance of hip-checking him in the rush to the kitchen for breakfast are reassuring him that he is not broken or in need of kid-glove handling.
For the first evening in a long time, we all just enjoyed the company of being together. There were no covert looks to make sure there were no labored gasps or comfort issues; no flinches at usual pup noises. We just were...and it felt great to breathe again!