Thursday, January 12, 2012

Family VII: Paisley, the cloud dog

My dog Paisley is shaped like a cloud. That's about all I can tell from this distance—Paisley is terrified of chickens, goats, and mules and has never set paw on our half of this 1.25 acre property! Paisley has no excuse for his fear, except that he is a dog of unmulishly reduced bravery. That's OK—Paisley has other gifts.

Paisley has a reputation for his good nature, his handsome coat, and his bad luck. He is missing his hearing due to a genetic mishap. He is missing the bottom of his ulna due to a running-and-tripping-on-the-lawn accident and the resulting fiasco, which ended in surgery to remove a dying bone. He is missing some brain cells, we think, due to long and terrible seizures: he has them once in a while, and he's less and less himself since the big ones he suffered through this summer. He's anxious now, in more than just a "doesn't want to look that chicken in the eye" way. He is not quite right, and the humans wonder how many more seizures he'll suffer before his quality of life warrants THAT conversation. His medications, which have helped, are not helping enough.

Still, Paisley is a beautiful and joyful animal. He adores everyone, and has never met a dog or a human that he won't accept with loving welcome. As of today, Paisley is more happy than sad. More kind than fretful. More restful than worried. More healthy than sick.

When Paisley is happy to see you, he makes a "wooo-wooo-woo" face and a rumbling growl. To the uninitiated, this (coupled with his crazy ice-blue eyes and pinpoint pupils) looks like a savage threat. To those fluent in canine body language, it means "I love you so much I could burst."

Paisley has been in FarmWife's family for almost ten years. He is the kind of dog parents dream of for their children . . . a dog that will lie on the floor for endless games of Vet, Groomer, and Capture-the-Luck-Dragon. A dog whose response to being tripped over, grabbed, or fallen upon is to say "Why hello! I'm so very happy to see you too!"

FarmWife is a little sad today because Paisley has another seizure two days ago . . . a worrying thing, since he's on some new medication that was expected to control them. I will have to keep you updated about his health, but for now I shall just say that what Paisley lacks in bravery, soundness, and normal brain activity is more than made up for by his capacious and noble heart.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful dog. Hugs to you, him & Farmwife. We, too are walking that foggy road with our Daisy.


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