your pal, erin

Author & Psychic Superhero

Let Rational Minds and Sleeping Dogs Lie

As I sit on the sofa, curled up next to my sleeping dog Pup, I realize that our rational minds have a way of tricking us into believing things that are simply untrue. Just yesterday, mine convinced me I’d gone round the bend.

It was “porch time” — the daily ritual where everyone congregates with our pets on our 80 year-old neighbors’ front stoop for dog treats and cocktails, in exactly that order. Whenever Mama Ruth calls, “Come get some cheesy weezy!” the animals accompany her into the house for a round of goodies and dogua stored in an old Sunny D bottle, giving it the faintest splash of citrus flavor.

Yesterday when “cheesy weezy” was announced, Pup refused to move. I panicked just a little, realizing that forsaken snacks are the inciting incident of almost every event in the course of human history that’s ever culminated in a mad dash to the vet. My logical mind overcompensated by analyzing all the possible outcomes and concluding my fears were a result of being batshit crazy.

But my anxiety had already taken hold. By now, Pup was not only limping, she was yelping in pain and snapping at anyone who tried to examine her dog knuckles. Nothing could assuage my fraying nerves, not even when Trudy laughed at me for using the term “dog knuckles.” 

Pup has an inordinately high threshold for pain. I’ve watched her take a tumble from a dog park picnic table and land head first CRACK on the concrete below, only to bounce away like Plastic Man. For her to be this vocal, the pain must have been pretty phenomenal.

My neighbors did their best to talk me down from ledge, but the more I obsessed, the more irrational I felt.

Thank goodness for my mom —a Healing Touch minister and self-taught Master Worrier— who walked me through the intake process she uses with her clients. No, the leg wasn’t swollen. Yes, it was radiating heat. Mom sent some healing energy to Pup, calculated that the pain was most likely superficial and instructed me to call the vet if the limb was swollen in the morning.

When Pup awoke today, her leg had ballooned into a furry little tree stump.

So here I sit, in these wee morning hours, doing my best to stay calm until the vet’s office opens. In the course of the last twenty minutes or so, I’ve realized that I haven’t lost my mind and my panic didn’t percolate in a vacuum.

I’ve been through this before... only not with Pup, but with PJ.

One September morning back in 2012, my little dog PJ woke up in agonizing, inexplicable pain that dominated her entire body. Whenever I touched her, she shrieked such loud, high pitched squeals that her screams pinched my skin, as if I were a glass about to shatter.

I brought PJ to the vet, fully expecting to put her down, but the doctor sent us home with a dozen or so syringes of anti-inflamatories and opiates instead. She was unable determine the source of PJ’s suffering, but had hoped to contain her pain. Twenty-four excruciating hours and several unsuccessful injections later, we returned to the vet and said our final goodbyes.

As much as her loss devastates me, I really have no cause to complain. This column, my psychic practice and all the blessings they’ve bestowed are a direct result of PJ making her presence known in the hours and days following her death.

PJ’s miracle notwithstanding, the grief of losing both my baby and my best friend in one cruel swoop instilled in me a subliminal panic button that I didn’t realize was there until Pup tripped it yesterday. Even when it was pushed, my rational mind continued denying its existence, dismissing my reaction as overly emotional and quite possibly insane.

After all, who wants to be reminded that we live in an unpredictable world where those we love could be taken away from us at any moment without any notice or explanation? The pain of such an acknowledgement is too much to bear. It’s much safer to declare myself crazy.


Originally published in Connect Savannah


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