Thursday, February 23, 2017

Having a cold with Lucy

So, I have a cold. Not the flu. Not some sort of bronchial disturbance. Not a sinus infection. A cold, that garden variety plague that has vexed mankind since the dawn of time and against which modern science and medicine have been powerless. As I write these words, I have industrial strength men's all cotton handkerchiefs at the ready, since the laughably inept tissues produced by Kleenex have proven completely worthless. Already, only one paragraph in, and I have availed myself of this handkerchief four times. It's been that sort of afternoon.

This day began with such promise. I actually slept reasonably well, and sneezed only once from 6 am until 8. I was breathing rather well, and all indications seemed to point to a productive day. All came a cropper around noon when my nasal passages became overrun by a host of microscopic organisms of unknown specie who gleefully began lashing the ends of my nose hairs with the tail feathers of the world's smallest bird. At each such lashing, which I felt from my cowlick all the way down to my in grown toenail, my body began its coiled response to the invader. I could feel the birth of each sneeze somewhere around my hip area, then the three or four seconds it took for it to climb up into my generously sized nose. The resultant recoil and noise from each sneeze was enough to awaken Lucy, who would lift her head with her ears pinned back in terror, until she realized it was just Dad sneezing for the 50th time since he got home.

Speaking of Lucy, our girl isn't what you would call a snuggler. Sure, she sleeps on the bed with us, and rests on the sofa with Pam, but usually at the opposite end. But, today when I got home for lunch, she took one look at me and knew that something was amiss. It may have been my red and irritated nose, or perhaps the fact that my voice had dropped three octaves, from Justin Beiber to James Earl Jones. Whatever, she knew that something was up and immediately began shadowing my every move. While I ate some warmed up lasagna, she laid on the floor at my side. When I then collapsed on the bed with my head tilted upward to stop the torrent of cascading post nasal drip...she jumped up on the bed and wedged herself as close to me as she possibly could, using my body as her pillow. This despite what became a deluge of sneezes, each more intense and violent than the next. She didn't budge until I finally, mercifully, dozed off to sleep. When I awoke, she was on the floor directly under my side of the bed, looking up at me as though she thought I was going to die.

For all of you who don't quite understand why some of us own dogs (and a few select cats), this is why. For all of their slobbering, butt-sniffing, idiosyncrasies they are so intuned to us. They notice when we are sick or sad. They know. Then they set about to do something to lift our spirits. They always succeed.