Monday, June 22, 2015

Michelle Ma Belle

I love this Beatle's song and it also happens to be the name of my little Sheltie. This song has many memories for me including a college ride with a long-time friend who asked me the words when I sang it. See, he never knew the words and since I seemed to know them would I mind sharing? Little did I realize I was being set up. Not even after I sang, "some dumb monkey won't play pianoed song" did I realize how ludicrous my version was over the simple French prose "son de mon qui bon tres bien ensemble." Pardon my spelling, but how was I to know they knew French?

I can't help but smile when I hear her name because Michelle really is the funniest little dog. It's known nationwide that if I'm on a webinar presenting Michelle will pick that time to bark, perhaps reminding me of all the life I'm missing out there presenting, while I could be barking at squirrels. It's no longer an anomaly but an expectation that she will indeed contribute. This has occurred on countless national report-outs, webinars, and even international calls to the Minister of Colombia. Michelle has become quite famous.

She's also famous with everyone she meets. In the neighborhood she is known as the Grande Dame, enforcing royal protocol. That basically means that we must all attend the wishes of Miss first and leave the Staff (i.e. me) to clean up the mess. When I cook and the oil is too hot- zip! Michelle runs up the stairs to leave the Staff to calm the situation. She is not my guard dog.

So the reason I've been absent is that I've been taking care of my little sick puppy dog. Last week she was panting heavily. I thought she was dramatizing the fact that no, it's not 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) and I know anything above that is uncomfortable in her mind. So she's ALWAYS panting. But this continued another day and her staring at me non-stop was beginning to freak me out. It was when I heard her breath get really labored that I took her to the emergency clinic.

Here I am thinking she got overheated and might need some fluids and then the vet tells me she's in an oxygen tank and needs to stay there until she can breathe on her own. OR, she says, I'll have to make a tough decision. WHAT??!! She's only 10 years old. I was devastated. Michelle had tried to tell me and I didn't get it. I failed her. I stayed until midnight and went home and prayed. I was lost. I got a call at 5 am that she wasn't doing well at all. I went immediately to see her. The new vet on call tried lasix, which clears fluid around the chest. From the x-ray they couldn't tell if that's what that mass was or if it was a tumor.

I called my vets from home for their advice and they recommended to try everything. Luckily Michelle responded. Within 24 hours she was breathing on her own. Another trip to the cardiologist confirmed that she has pneumonia. She stayed a total of 3 days at the clinic but she's home now.

I must say that an experience like that is a little death. The Jill and Michelle team of old is gone and is re-formed into this stronger union. I understand my dog so much more and she understands me. I just silently laugh and roll my eyes when she barks at a bird, a squirrel, a blade of grass. I love and accept her unconditionally. In return she gives more smooches, more snuggles and lots more taily-wags. She's the best part of my day and she knows it. I couldn't be more grateful.


  1. Thank goodness she's okay. She's a little beauty. She's as lucky to have you as you are to have her!

  2. Thanks, Puppy! If anything we have a renewed appreciation for each other. I am so so grateful she's okay.