My latest entry would have been about my wonderful trip to California last week, but some moments come first...
If I Had My Life to Live Over
by: Nadine Stair
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more Daisies.
I have shared more moments with Daisy over the past almost 12 years, than anyone else in my life.
- She sat on my lap at 6weeks old when I bought her and drove her home
- She slept with me every night until I met Paul
- She kept me company through good times and bad
- She rollerbladed with me. She ran stadium stairs with me. You name the unusual workout...she was always up for it.
- She was there when I started running, and always wanted me to cover just one extra mile
- She was at my first 5K, and didn't care that I couldn't run the whole thing
- She stood by my side when she knew we were on our own after having companions for 2 and 1/2 years. She helped me move on.
- She has stayed at a Spa and the Four Seasons. There was no way I could be indulged without her.
- She gave Paul a chance even though he wasn't an animal lover by nature. She taught him how to love her and me.
- She was at our wedding.
- She ran me into the finish at my first 50-miler.
- And she turns 12 years-old on June 23rd, the day of Western States...
She has given the most pure unconditional love to me EVERYDAY of her life. Today was my day to give it back!
I am in my last week of training before I start to back down for WS. My quads have been fried in a very good way since my trip to California, where I covered 3 wonderful days of running on the course.
On Tuesday, Daisy and I covered the 5 mile loop by the house. I took her over to the park, and she took a dip in the creek. Everything was great, and she was happy to have her running partner back. Yesterday morning we covered the 7 mile loop, and again she went for a swim in the creek to cool off. She ran great, and we had a blast. Afterward, I left the house to coach and meet up with someone. I came back with roasted turkey and shared it with her as I made a wrap. She was great. I got on my bike on my trainer at about 2:45, and a 4 noticed she hadn't come join me. She normally lays on the floor as I ride. I called for her...no answer. I walked to the top of the stairs and called for her again. She came limping over to the base of the stairs, looked up at me, but couldn't climb. I ran down thinking that I had totally killed her back legs with the earlier run. I touched her and she cried. She could barely move. I gave her a muscle relaxer thinking that once she rested she would be better. She wouldn't lay down and just followed me with her head hanging very low. It was awful. I got on her bed and laid down, hoping she would join. She barely could. I had to leave and go coach... I carried her to her room and left.
When I got back, she didn't seem any better. I knew she couldn't get downstairs so I had Paul pick her up. She cried in such unbelieveable pain. It killed me.
This morning I realized that it was not her legs, but her gut. The second I touched it she cried. I knew she needed to get to the vet first thing. I got there at 7, and the vet, Dr. Boston, took x-rays and saw something...a tumor, a hemorrage, don't yet know. She said she needed an ultra-sound. I was in shock and disbelief. I was expecting her to have an infection; I couldn't even process what to do next.
My family and I have had the same vet in the Houston area since I was 3. I trust him. He has known me and all my pets my whole life. At 7:45 I called him. He needed to see her and the x-rays to really help me, so without over-thinking it I said we would head down. I called Dr. Boston, and asked her if I could get Daisy. I picked her up and to Houston, in the rain, we went.
As I drove it started to hit me. What is going on? What am I doing? How did this happen? 24 hours earlier we were running together...
I got there safely and Dr. Robinson gave me a long hug. He and I had a good talk about what to do next, and what the possibilities could be. Without the ultrasound, it is just a guess. He took a look at everything and suggested I head back to Austin for the Ultrasound to see what going on in her gut. For sure there is something, hopefully just a hemorrage and a small tumor that just need to be cleaned up...but she is a very sick dog in pain. He told me that the work-up should be done in Austin and I should trust the vet here, as she was right on, so that she can be with me vs. her having to stay with my parents.
So after about an hour I loaded her back up and headed back home. I had to call the vet in Austin back and tell her I was coming back to trust her to care for Daisy. I let her know that I am fully aware that I am crazy for where I went for my second opinion, but this has allowed me to digest all of the info and accept whatever is to come. Dr. Boston was very open with me and very sweet. She told me to bring Daisy back so that they could give her IVs overnight and get her well hydrated. She said that they will do the ultrasound tomorrow and we will then know if she needs surgery or not. I told her to be very honest with me and know that this is all about Daisy. I do not want her to suffer; I will not keep her alive for my sake.
The ride home from Houston was the hardest of my life. Just as we had taken that first ride 11 years ago, we were alone, again. I thought about all of the important moments of my life over the years and came to realize that she was a part of EVERY one of them, either there in-person or in my heart.
When I was 18 I found the Poem, If I Had My Life to Live Over. I thought about the fact that I had done nothing daring, and two weeks before graduation got a tattoo of a Daisy to remind me to pick more and live life to the fullest. When I was 21 I picked a dog. I picked her out of an entire litter. I named her Daisy. Everyday since she has lived life to the fullest. She has loved me more than I could ever love her, and at times more than I love myself. She has brought more energy to my life than I could ever dream, and has been the friend I long to be...always listening, always accepting, always...
Until she is back home I will keep daisies in my house to remind me to: live life to the fullest; live as though this might be the last; and "pick more daisies!"
Please keep her in your prayers!