August 13, 2019

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see,

-Carl Jung


One week into the sprained ankle and it’s obvious I was initially overly optimistic. The thing swelled up to twice its normal size and the pain still goes up to an eight-out-of-ten whenever I put the foot below waist level for more than about two minutes. It isn’t a boney pain, but more of a burning pain associated with the swelling. Still, it’s quite uncomfortable and I’m really disappointed that it isn’t significantly better after seven days.

I suck it up and walk Waldo around the building every two to three hours. It’s agonizingly slow going, but Waldo seems to take it in stride. After each trek, I have to get into the recliner and put my foot up for at least an hour, and more often than not, until it’s time to go back outside. Waldo is grateful for the sojourns outdoors and isn’t going too crazy indoors, but I can see that he needs more, so I call my daughter and ask if I can bring him over to run around in her fenced-in back yard. At least there, I can let him tire himself out and he’ll eventually come inside when called. Plus, my daughter and her husband are around to help me corral him if needed.

It works out well. I sit on the deck and put my foot up and watch Waldo do his thing. He runs in a gallop, round and round, always in a counterclockwise, anticyclonic pattern. I know it can’t be due to the coriolis effect, the force that drives weather patterns, because it’s in the wrong direction. No idea why he does that, maybe he’s just being rebellious. More likely, it’s just another one of those Waldo things.

After the first hour, Waldo gets hot enough he has to stop and lie down, but only for a minute. His firehose length tongue is flailing about outside of his snout, spraying saliva everywhere. We provide him with a large bowl of water and he stops several times and tanks up, then proceeds to unwind at full speed. Occasionally, he’ll stop and lunge at something I can’t see, then continue on his circuit. I figure I’ll give him a good two hours to run it out, unless he becomes obviously uncomfortable in the heat. Meanwhile, I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, with my foot up on another, in the shade, pleased with the easing pain and so happy that Waldo can get some needed exercise without my having to walk with him and make my ankle hurt.

Almost two hours have passed and we notice that Waldo is limping a bit, favoring his right paw. What is this? Sympathy paw pain? I get up and stumble over to his path and notice a little bit of blood on the cement patio. I call him to me and, surprisingly, he comes. I check out his pads and he has two spots on the largest, scraped down to raw tissue. It’s bleeding only a little and spontaneously stops. It’s painful enough, though, that he’s limping and I’m going to have to watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t get infected. I’m totally puzzled. I watched him the entire time and didn’t see him do anything that would cause the injury. Weird.

On the way home, I stop at a pet store. I don’t think he needs any antibiotic cream, the scrape on his foot is minor and the cream would only soften the pads. But they have these little blue rubber balloons designed to fit over the paw and protect it from any further injury until it can heal. I put one on Waldo and he doesn’t seem to mind it too much. After about ten minutes he’s walking more comfortably and ignores that it’s there. He doesn’t even mind when I start calling him a Blue-footed Booby.

If I were a conspiracy nut, I might try to read something into all this, try to argue that the laws of nature could not explain how both of us wound up with right foot injuries at the same time without some kind of supernatural hand being at work. But I’m not. I do believe, though, that there is a synchronicity that our brains have attained that allow us to work together. A subliminal, as well as verbal and body language, communication that we developed over the months we’ve been together that allows us to dance, hand in paw, to the tune that life is playing for us.

And that’s just magic.

The Boot Boys.

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