Sunny Sitting with a Sick Og

In Farm Dogs by Laura CrossleyLeave a Comment

Very rarely do I have a chance to write in the moment, but here we are.

The grass is far too tall as far as I can see. We haven’t mowed in a couple of weeks and the number of weeds in our side yard has become much too obvious. The wind is blowing through the trees all around us. All we can hear is the steady rustle of leaves and the birds frantically chirping in the tree nearby.

Ogi is sick. He’s been noticeably clingy lately. Yesterday, he got into some bread. We thought, for sure, he didn’t actually get any trash – but, it’s tough to not acknowledge that, today, he’s sick. The two could be related, but he’s 6 and a half years old. He has heart problems and arthritis in his back knees. In any scenario, it’s hard to know just which thing is making him feel bad.

But he really does feel bad. My big buddy stumbled to get to the basement door to go out earlier. He walked across his own feet like a drunk friend around closing time. He’s struggled to get off the sofa all day long. He’s even been jumping up from his sleep with a shrill whimper.

So here we are – outside of the basement on our crumbling patio. A shaggy Chuck-it ball is hidden in the grass a few feet away from us. He has no interest. He simply wanted to lay in the warm shade for a bit.

I brought his dog bed out. It’s the second one we ordered of his absolutely favorite. It took years for us to find the first – and he loved it so much that it stank terribly. No amount of vacuuming, washing or spraying was going to save that bed when we moved. This green nest with big fluffy sides is now his primary spot for relaxing – away from from the sofa, that is.

He walked outside and paced the grass for a bit. Then, he simply stood on the patio. He was clearly uncomfortable, so I grabbed his bed from inside – and this is where we’ve been, quietly together, for the last 30 minutes or so.

Every now and then he whimpers and shifts. He flinches at being touched, but doesn’t try to stop me. He just drapes his head over the side of the bed and drools on the concrete.

I feel every bit of the rough concrete jabbing into the tops of my feet as a sit here cross-legged. The warmth it has absorbed from the sun through the day radiates back into my too-chilly body. The air conditioner inside is set at something completely ridiculous.

Maybe he’s just cold. Maybe the temperature differences are just a bit too much for his joints.

I’ve spent the day calling every vet I can Google. They’re all booked. Lawrence, Kansas City, Oskaloosa, Tonganoxie. I finally found one that will see him at the earliest moment tomorrow morning. Thank god.

My mascara is a mess. I’ve been crying tears all afternoon with every hang up. My buddy doesn’t feel good. Really doesn’t feel good. And, along with a lot of things lately, I feel like there’s no where to turn for help.

Vibrant orange butterflies are dancing across the unkempt lawn. The shadows of the afternoon cast harsh lines across each tree. He whimpers again, stands up and paces through the yard. He buries his face in my back.

Love you too, buddy.

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