Won’t You Tell Me How?

The return to work last week wasn’t something I was looking forward to, as it looked closer and larger. Even if my holiday break had been surprisingly complicated  — a mix of the holidays themselves being more difficult than I could have expected and the feeling of not knowing what to do with so much time off for the first time in years — I wasn’t excited about the return to a traditional work week, with its 7am rises and the pressure of being constantly under deadline no matter how many stories I’d filed on any given day. I spent the last couple of days of the break dreading my first day back, having no idea it would be even worse.

In his defense, the dog didn’t intend to need an emergency trip to the vet; even ignoring the fact that animals aren’t really the type to plan such things in advance (and especially not Gus, who’s never shown any signs of being a particularly strategic thinker — or much of a thinker at all, really), the look he gave me when he was being carried into the back rooms to get his paw looked at made it clear how unhappy he was about the entire situation. Me too, little guy, me too.

He was there because, suddenly, his foot had been covered in blood and upon investigation, his claw had been torn. It was a shock to discover and an additional stress neither of us needed in that moment, but that’s what happened nonetheless. He was, ultimately, fine — by a day later, his biggest concern was that he didn’t want to take his medicine — but I spent the day worried about him, and also worried about needing to take time off work immediately after the break to take care of things. Oh, and also worried about completing the work I needed to do with less time to do it, and also the cost of the vet visit.

It was, to look for the silver lining, a lesson in appreciating the good stuff when you can, and that things could always be worse. If nothing else, the next day when I didn’t spend half of it traveling to and from the vet with a cold, sad dog in my arms almost felt like being back on vacation.

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