Merry and bright

As another Christmas draws to a close, it’s finally quiet enough in the house that I can hear myself think long enough to write something. We’ve had a busy week with a lot going on for everyone. Here’s the news, in four parts.

First, an update on my dog. He had to go to the emergency vet four times this week and ended up having to take four different medications to help his face, but finally he turned the corner and is on his way back to normal.

Here’s how his face looked on Friday night, after I clipped his beard off to help visualize the muzzle and keep it clean:


Here’s how it looked Monday night with drier skin and significantly reduced swelling:


I gave him a bath today and washed off some of the scabbing around his mouth. He still has a course of antibiotics and steroids to finish, but he should be fine in a few more days. He’s always been a remarkably healthy dog in the time I’ve had him, so this has been quite an ordeal for both of us.

Second, my sister and her family came to visit from Friday through Monday, and we had a nice low-key Christmas celebration on Sunday night before they had to get home for work commitments. I woke up early Sunday morning and fully appreciated the fact that everyone I love most was under one roof at that moment: my dogs under the covers beside me, my parents down the hall, my sister’s family upstairs. It warmed my heart.

Third, my mother’s recovery has advanced by leaps and bounds since I last saw her in September. At that time, when she first got out of rehab, I helped her take her first shower at home, which took a good 45 minutes and had me sweaty and aching from the exertion of doing most of the work for her. Now, I just help her onto the shower chair and pull off her shoes (although she doesn’t even need help with the shoes, really), and she takes it from there with no assistance at all from me. She’s in and out of the tub in about 10 minutes. She does let me dry her hair afterward because I want to do that, but otherwise she’s recovered a lot of her independence in the bathroom. Also, she can walk a short distance using only a cane now, and we’re hopeful that she will be out of the wheelchair all together in another month or two. Here she is practicing unassisted standing on a foam mat to help fine-tune her balance.


Go, mama, go!

And finally, some parting thoughts on Christmas …

It occurred to me a few days ago as I was making yet another trip to the grocery store and listening to Christmas carols on the car radio, that for most of us, one day is much like the next no matter what the calendar says. So if you want to have a merry and bright and blessed and happy holiday season or Christmas (as all the carols and ad jingles exhort us to have), the best way to do so is to cultivate a merry and bright and blessed and happy life the other 364 days of the year. How you do anything is how you do everything, and it’s hard to bring to the holidays what you don’t have in everyday life.

So my wish for all of you is that you might enjoy the blessings of the Christmas season—peace, goodwill, generosity of spirit—all through the year. May all your days be merry and bright.


5 thoughts on “Merry and bright

  1. I’m so glad your furbaby is getting better! Did the vet ever figure out what the problem was? But anyway, healing is wonderful. I’m glad you had such a great celebration with your family, and the news of your mom is fantastic!

    • Thanks, Ruth. 🙂 The best the vets could come up with was that it is an allergic reaction, but we still have no idea what the agent was. It was strange that even though his muzzle was fully involved and the skin all over his body was bright pink and even his ears were hot, pink and itchy, he didn’t have any problems inside his mouth.

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