Wesley’s been walking wounded. We’ve pawed over his left front paw and leg and just can’t figure out why he’s limping for the last week and a half.
So today I drag him through the door of the examining room, and while we wait he lifts his feet to my lap and shakes so hard I think his whole body might just shatter.
The vet’s a fill-in today, and she’s shocked at his size. He weighs in at 16.6 pounds, which is rather large for a Havanese. But we’re used to super-sized labs, and I think how small he is. And what must it be like to cower at the towering. I know what it’s like to be scared out of my comfort zone.
His trainer calls him a “nervous” dog, and he’s repeating beginning obedience class for more socialization. This week they let all the dogs, most of them bigger than him, off their leashes to play, but he hid behind my husband.
Anyway, Wesley shies away from the vet when she comes in the room. She bends down and loves on him, and then I lift him up on cold metal while she checks him all over–head, mouth, teeth, neck, body, behind, and belly before she moves to his feet. He’s still shaking and leans hard against me, stuffs his nose in my armpit, tries to climb right down my neck.
“It’s okay,” I whisper. Just be still.
“What a thick, fluffy coat he has,” the vet says. And I think how his coat covers up his small and how water exposes it.
In the end, she finds nothing. She offers an x-ray, which I decline for now. And then she prescribes an anti-inflammatory and stillness.
I write the check, then gather him in my arms and carry him out to the car where he finally stops shaking.
Once at home, he curls up on the couch and goes to sleep.
Still small, but unafraid.
In the stillness,
Joining Lisa-Jo and the Five Minute Friday Community
on the word prompt: small