The last time I wrote about my life with animals, our English shepherd, Gimli, got all of the press. I should say that there are 2 other dogs in our household, not to mention 2 Jersey wooly rabbits, around 10 laying hens of various breeds, and a duck named Watson. (My husband calls this motley assortment, along with our modest garden and 10 wooded acres our “microfarm.”) Until a few months ago, we also had a small herd of 11 milk goats and 2 steers, but we have cut back now that my husband is in grad school. I have so many stories about all of these furry and feathered companions, I could write my own version of All Creatures Great and Small, except my volume would probably be called something more like All Creatures Charmingly Insane.
Although I wish I could tell you that this story is about one of my other charmingly insane companions, this story centers once again upon Gimli.
It all started with a sleep over. My daughter, Gimli’s best friend in the whole world, went to spend the night with a friend. My 13 year old son was charged with the task of putting Gimli in his crate, which is kept in our daughter’s room. Anyone who has a dog who can’t stay out of trouble, which is practically every person with a dog under the age of 2, knows the importance of the crate. They also probably know the oh-no-the-raptors-have-busted-out-of-Jurassic-Park terror of an improperly latched crate door. Many people with 13 year olds also know it’s probably best to check that they have done a job properly before making assumptions. Well, on the night in question, the crate didn’t get latched properly, and Gimli, being behind closed doors all night and perhaps a little lonely without his best friend and other pack members around, kinda went crazy. Well, not kinda.
He. Went. Nuts.
We opened the door the next morning to find Gimli standing in the midst of a debris field longer than the one that helped ocean explorers find the Titanic. Mangled items of all kinds littered the floor—scissors with the handles chewed off, bits of fabric, chunks of yarn, a dismembered pin cushion, and a carpet full of sewing pins.
What at first seemed like just an inconvenient mess soon turned into a trip to the emergency vet, hours of worry, many fervent prayers, more than a few tears, a 3 days stay for Gimli with our regular vet, and—thankfully—a happy ending. In my next post, I will share more about the ordeal and how I learned that it’s even more important than I ever imagined to provide stimulating toys for energetic dogs like Gimli. I will also share my gratitude for a community of friends who don’t think it’s silly to pray for a beloved pet. Most importantly, I will relate just how much joy can be derived from hearing that your dog finally pooped. (Seriously, it’s a lot of joy.)
I am so glad this story had a happy ending, but the truth is not everyone gets to drive their dog and ecstatically happy children home from the vet after a scare like ours. I’m so grateful tonight for another day with our beloved—and charmingly insane—Gimli.