Dearest Rachel –
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying that ‘two wrongs don’t make a right.’ And I’m sure that Relient K weren’t the first people to come up with it when they added the subtitle ‘(but three lefts do)’ to one of their albums.
But that’s the full phrase that goes through my head these mornings, as I set out breakfast for Chompers – ideally to mollify him while I attempt to take a shower, but that’s rarely successful. He either refuses, or is utterly unable, to proceed in a straight line, and staggers about in a great anti-clockwise circle around the better part of your side of the bedroom before arriving at the bowl, largely with my help, nudging him to his feet after he falls over after every other step.
Now, while the vet has told me that he suffers from a neurological condition wherein he doesn’t know any longer where either of his back legs are, it’s clear to me that he still manages to favor one of his back over the other somehow. What I don’t understand is which back leg he actually favors. Is he moving with the stronger leg, thereby causing himself to move in this circular pattern? Or is he planting the stronger foot, and rotating around it?
Meanwhile, Ellen has suggested to me that the muscles in his legs that would otherwise cause him to extend them outward have basically atrophied – from arthritis or whatever – causing his legs to all but automatically fold inward. Either possibility, or a combination of both, makes perfect sense to me; I’m no veterinarian, so I’ll go along with whatever explanation you’ve got.
It was the third incarnation of your beloved Doctor Who who admonished the Brigadier that while “a straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, [it is] by no means the most interesting.” I wonder – but doubt, considering the state of the soul of the average bloke (to say nothing of those in the entertainment industry. The Beeb may not be Hollywood, but I doubt it’s the Vatican, either) – if you’ve met John or Nicholas up there; I’m sure that, knowing you, you’d be looking for them.
In any event, the old boy is, as you can see, not much for straight lines, which I guess makes him interesting. Maybe even… the Most Interesting Dog in the World.
It occurs to me that it must be disorienting to read my letters sometimes, isn’t it, honey? One moment, I’m going through scripture trying to make sense of it all, and yelling “why?” to the virtual heavens. The next, I’m all but rolling my eyes at your dog and muttering about how ridiculous he can be. I know that ‘schizophrenic’ is not a proper description for the thoughts that go through my head (there are enough people with psych degrees in my life to remind me that the word does not mean what everybody uses it to mean), and I commit to ‘paper.’ There must be a term for it… somewhere…
Anyway, I had best send this letter off to you while it’s still cheap and cheerful. No point in waiting for evening, when the thoughts in my head darken with the sky. Please, enjoy this little bit of fun, and hopefully you won’t think too much worse of me for having some at Chompers’ expense.