I came home today from the hospital tired and discouraged. What was supposed to be a four day stay in the hospital has turned into a minimum of thirteen days, with a new treatment scheduled to begin tomorrow. We ate lunch, and Zoe, who, thankfully, is able to come home after her treatments, went down for a nap. I looked at the boys. I didn't have it in me to do school today. I needed to get out, to feel the sun on my face, to hear the wind sweep past my ears, and to breathe the crisp, Fall air.
Who wants to go for a hike instead of school?
The boys squealed with delight. Elliot grabbed his bike, and Avery grabbed Scout and the leash. Thanks to hunting season, it has been far too long since we hiked along our favourite trail on the Peninsula, and it felt incredible to be back out there. Elliot and Scout sped down the path, while Avery found a walking stick and enjoyed cracking the puddles of ice under our feet. Here beneath the canopy of trees, I felt at peace. There were no decisions to make, no doctors to consult with, and no feelings of helplessness. For the first time in a long time, I felt whole again. I felt like me, and I was enjoying every minute of it.
After we walked about forty-five minutes into the woods, Elliot called Avery and I over to a small grassy area beside a beaver pond. It was beautiful, and Elliot was making plans for us to come back there next summer for a picnic, while Scout was happily swimming in the water. I sat down on a rock alongside the shore and watched Elliot and Scout play. It felt like summer again, but even better because we were not being swarmed by black flies. After a few moments, Avery grew tired of our spot and begged us to accompany him to the beaver lodge just around the corner. I got up and was walking up the path, when I heard Elliot scream in fright. I quickly turned around and saw Elliot standing by the water's edge yelling to Scout, who had managed to slip off one of the logs into the water and who had become sandwiched between two of them. He was struggling to keep his head above the water, and Elliot was struggling to maintain his cool!
pause . . .
At this point, I should tell you that we lost our first Duck Tolling Retriever, Sport, four years ago after he fell through the ice in the river and drowned. Luckily we were not there to witness this tragedy, but it has haunted Elliot ever since.
resume . . .
Without even thinking, I ran over to the water, dropped to my knees, and grabbed one of the large logs. I heaved it up with all my strength. In spite of it's size, I was able to lift it about four inches, just enough to give Scout the space he needed to swim closer to me. Unfortunately, Scout still did not have enough room to get himself up on the other log and out of the water. At this point, I realized we were in trouble because I could not let go of the log without hurting Scout, but I needed a free hand to lift him out. Just then, I heard Elliot run up behind me and shout: "This is NOT going to happen again!". He quickly walked out onto the log, and grabbed hold of Scout by his collar and pulled him out of the water. As soon as they reached the shore, Scout, who was oblivious to the magnitude of this dire situation, shook the water off himself, and ran up the path on hot pursuit of his next adventure. The boys and I looked at each other in disbelief. Elliot began to cry.
I can't lose him mom.
And you didn't babe. You saved him.
We need to go home, NOW.
Okay . . .
It was a quiet walk back to the car. When we returned home, Elliot went straight to his room and put the radio on. I called Mr. Level-Headed and told him all about our "interesting" afternoon.
Well, one of two things can happen. This is either going to really freak Elliot out or empower him. We will have to wait and see.
Later, when Elliot finally emerged from his room, he laughed:
Mom, Scout won't stop following me. I think he thinks I'm his hero.
Well, bud, you are. You were really brave today. You didn't lose control, and you saved your puppy. I am really proud of you.
Ha, ha! I always knew I was a hero!
Empowerment it is . . . phew!
Well, I didn't get the relaxing hike I had hoped for but, really, I can't complain. Tonight, I will have all of my babies under the same roof, sleeping cozily in their own beds, the love of my life sleeping beside me, and my favourite pooch trying to wiggle his way in between us.
Life is good!
|I took this photo and posted it on Instagram moments before all the excitement started. I lifted the log Elliot is standing on. That sucker is huge! Pretty impressive . . . huh? Tee hee!|