I’m going to be honest with you guys: It’s been a tough week. All the more reason to keep doing this weekly gratitude list, I suppose.

Long story short, I live in a notoriously dog-unfriendly building, and I had to get special approval to bring Eli into my home. By almost all counts, he’s a great, well-behaved puppy, though he barks sometimes in the morning, mostly when I’m getting ready. My neighbors on my floor said they didn’t hear him, but I found out last week that they could hear him above and below me when I received an angry letter, I got to work using lots of different methods to calm him down. Things improved on the barking front, but still weren’t 100% perfect.

Unfortunately, a week wasn’t good enough, and I was told that unless he immediately stopped barking, the matter would be taken to the next level. I was really worried about how the stress of the situation was affecting the little guy, as he didn’t seem to be acting himself (I’ll spare the details, but it was related to house-breaking habits). I’d even started talking with my parents about him going to stay with them a few months until he’s settled down enough to not bark at weird hours to go out.

Well, Friday, I got home from work to find a note from the dog walker explaining how Eli had been throwing up and peeing in his crate—unusual things for him. I took him to the vet right away, and it turned out his renal labs were all out of whack. Something was very wrong with his kidneys, so he’s spent the rest of the weekend so far in the hospital while they run tests and things to tease out whether it’s a condition he was born with or exposure to a toxin and whether he’s going to get any better. I know he’s in good (very expensive) hands, but I’ve been crying a lot and am having trouble thinking about anything else. At least I feel a lot less crazy about having gotten pet insurance now.

Photo on 9 18 14 at 7.54 PM 5 300x254 - A Small Collection of Joyous Things:  When I Need It Most

Me & Eli

What upsets me most, I think, is that I know there are people who would be happy to hear he’s sick. In the past week or so, I’ve felt all this negative energy directed towards me and him that could have been prevented. If I’d known there was a problem sooner, I’d have addressed it right away—both with the early-morning noise and with his kidneys. It’s been tearing me to pieces.

With him at the vet, it’s actually been a relief to be working this weekend at the hospital. I was able to go visit him, luckily. The silver lining is the amazing support from my co-workers, family and friends over the past days. I totally I broke my “no crying at work” rule the other day, but it is what it is. At least it was just in the RD office and not on the patient floor or in a meeting. My parents took me to dinner and a movie last night to get my mind off things, which I really appreciated. Keeping those old childhood fears and feelings of being “cursed” or “doomed” at bay has been next to impossible, but I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who go out of their way to make me feel otherwise.

I really have no idea what’s going to happen over the next few days (or weeks or months…), and I’m doing my best to try to be okay with it. I was in a workshop Thursday about avoiding burnout, and when the group was asked about coping strategies, I was the one to raise my hand and talk about acknowledging what you can’t control while focusing on the things you can change. September has been quite the crash-course in taking my own advice. The planets must be readying me for my upcoming Saturn Return.

So here’s my little gratitude for the week:

  • My family, friends, and awesome co-workers
  • Eli’s dog walker, who takes such amazing care of him when I’m at work and has done so much to put my worries at ease and into perspective
  • I love my job
  • Beautiful weather
  • Perfect avocados
  • Escaping into Donna Tarrt’s The Goldfinch on my Kindle
  • A Saturday morning walk in the park on my way to work
  • Wine. Beaujolais, specifically.

What are you grateful for this week? 

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