Monthly Archives: February 2016

What it’s like

This is what it’s like:
You wake up startled. You are startled because it always starts when you’re asleep. You are startled because when it starts it starts violently. The dog is on his back, legs flailing uncontrollably, crashing into things and himself and the floor and whatever is in the way.
You scramble out of bed, naked (because that’s how you sleep, which maybe is better because when it’s all over you just take a shower), getting untangled from the covers as fast as you can to get to him because it starts so violently.
You kneel next to him, right in the puddle of piss, because when a 125 lb dog unintentionally voids his bladder, there is nowhere that isn’t a puddle of piss and he’s rolling around in it so you do too. After it’s violent beginning it settles, but he’s still seizing. And so you talk to him, and tell him he’s a good boy, and that it’s gonna be ok, and you say his name because that seems to help. And you say his name again and maybe he jerks a little less, and a little less foamy spittle falls out of his mouth to join the puddle of piss that you’re all sitting in.
Maybe it lasts a minute or 20 but you talk to him and then the jerking slows and stops. And his eye is open and you see it go from totally Not Here to fuzzy to confused to There He Is. And he sits up.
Next comes the pacing. This is when one of you can go get a towel and start cleaning up the mess, and one of you tries to clean the mess off the dog, but he just needs to pace for a while because he doesn’t know where he is or what just happened but it is all Very Confusing.
So you keep telling him it’s ok, even though it’s not, and that he’s a good boy, because he is.
His pacing slows down and you have cleaned up as much as you can, so you crawl back to bed to try to salvage a bit of sleep. And you are calm and the lights are off so he settles down too, and finally lies down, and sighs a big dog sigh, and in a few minutes is snoring and you really can’t blame him.
An hour later Josh has gotten up for work, and the usual morning routine kicks in, and he jumps up into bed in Josh’s place, and a minute later he starts rolling around and doing his happy dog grunt-barks. And you totally give up on sleep and rub his belly, for as long as he wants, because that’s exactly the right thing to do.