been sitting in this hotel room since noon, waiting for the phone to
ring. Going to the window, I peer out, but sleet obliterates the night
There isn’t much to look at, as our three-star hotel is in the middle of
an industrial area in Long Island, New York, 490 miles away from our
home in Canada.
This is the only “dog-friendly” hotel we could find. It was going to be
a long week. I sit down once again on the floral cover of the king-size
bed and try to read a book, but the words swim about on the page and I
keep reading the same paragraph over and over. Maggie May, our
one-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, snuggles up beside me.
A few miles away, her brother Oliver is in an intensive care unit,
either recovering from brain surgery…or maybe not. We knew Oliver’s
surgery was going to be a very invasive procedure and before we signed
the papers, the neurosurgeon had given us the requisite warnings.
Because they were going very close to some major blood vessels, Oliver
could bleed to death. Also, there was no guarantee that surgery was going to solve
problem.We struggled with second thoughts. If he didn’t make it, at
least he would be free from the relentless suffering.
We couldn’t bear to see him live a life of pain. Our options were limited.
My husband Doug returns, cold and wet from another walk. This is the
fourth time he has gone out and I am a little surprised at how
distraught he seems to be. We haven’t talked much all day, but I am
glad he is here with me.
“Any news?” he asks cautiously.
I want to say,“Maybe he didn’t make it through the surgery…Maybe there
was nothing they could do…Maybe they ran into some problems,” but I
keep these thoughts to myself. Doug turns on the TV and becomes
mindlessly drawn into a documentary about the DaVinci Code. At least
he’s no longer fidgeting and pacing the floor.
feel Maggie May’s large, warm eyes watching me. I stroke her silky head
and say,“Maybe they’re just busy over there and the doctor hasn’t had
time to get to the phone yet.” She looks up at me in blissful
innocence. I will myself not to pick up the phone and call the
hospital, because on the one hand I want to know, and on the other hand
I am afraid of what they might say
The phone rings.