When Ken and I got married back in 1993, we knew that we were going to be parents right away–his mother’s Golden Retriever was due to have a litter of puppies just a few weeks after our wedding. We were both very much dog people and were raised with dogs in the house. We brought our first baby home a few days before Christmas, and the timing could not have been more perfect. That was the winter of the great ice storm that crippled most of the Mid-Atlantic, particularly the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Ken was working in Annapolis and was stranded. I was home alone–two hours from my own hometown–with no friends, no family (I still hardly knew Ken’s family), and nowhere to go. I was housebound with nobody but Tucker to keep me company. I’ve often kidded that it was that puppy who got me through the first year of being married.
I found out yesterday that my beautiful, energetic, happy, and seemingly healthy four-year-old golden retriever has a life threatening heart murmur. While still in the prime of her life, she will need to see a cardiologist and be put on medication to regulate her heart. Misty was showing no signs of being sick. She and her sister, Rosie, chase each other around the yard and the house on a daily basis. She eats well and has a great disposition. I never imagined that her routine checkup would reveal a condition that could, at any moment, take her life.
This situation has gotten me thinking about, not just Misty, but others who may have something hidden from the outside world. We encounter dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people every day. How many of those people have something going on inside their bodies or in their lives of which we are completely unaware? How can we possibly know everything that another person is going through? Read more