There is nothing like writing about something you did and then eating those words a week or so later. I just blogged about how important it is for therapy dog handlers to watch their dog at all times.
Myles got hurt. It is my job to protect him. I failed. My feet are clean and, yes, they taste terrific.
He is fine. Just a sprain. I got too comfortable around some patients and looked away for a second.
There was a loud yelp and then there was limping and then there was “the calm”.
I can’t freak out because that can escalate a situation in a place where everyone on duty must diligently defuse outbursts. I also can’t freak out because I don’t want Myles to associate pain and hysteria with a place that really needs him. Even in pain he is watching my every move and taking my emotional temperature.
Childhood nightmare experiences that taught me so well how to swallow every emotion in giant gulps actually helped me swallow my outrage, fear, and guilt so “the calm” could wash over me.
You actually can take survival skills that aided you when you were young and then crippled you as an adult and put them to good use. Lots of therapy helps anyone take those skills and turn them into gifts rather than weapons of self-destruction.
I called a friend after the visit to have a moment of hysteria in my car while Myles flipped on his back and slipped into a fabulous dog dream. The same foot that was hurt was punching the air while he dreamed about catching a ball. He forgot the whole thing already.
Let me repeat. Myles is fine. No visits for a week or so. Patients rushed in to help me pet him and take all possible negative association away from the place he was hurt. It turned out to be a beautiful experience for everyone.
And, with all humility, I will pay more attention next time. And, with all humility, Myles will keep on doing what he does.
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