… on caring and therapy from beyond

Ah, Fred.

Fred was Grampa’s dog.

Well, I mean, we fed him and took him to the vets and stuff. But he was Grampa’s dog.

It was probably the milk bones.

As a matter of fact, you might remember that, at the Old Yankee Man’s service, a few of those milk bones were tucked into his inside jacket pocket. You know, to give to his dog, who’d suddenly (and strangely coincidentally) left for the same greener pastures only a month before.

I still smile through tears at that one.

This week we had one of those sudden, chuck-the-schedule life happenstances when Granny came down Monday morning. She had that odd sensation that we ought all pay attention to when we have it… ‘something wasn’t right’.

So we headed down to our handy-dandy and all-out-amazing urgent care center about three minutes away. It used to be a full-time hospital so can offer so much more than a typical urgent care center can (I feel as if I should add a Seinfeld-esque ‘not that there’s anything wrong with that’ right here).

Anyway, they took her right away.

Awesome nurses and docs showed up and we were off to be admitted to Mid Coast Medical Center (well, I wasn’t being admitted but we did both have to go) for a couple of days of tests. Granny got to go via ambulance because, apparently, they didn’t trust me with one of their oxygen tanks in my car. And also they refused to outfit it with the necessary monitoring equipment for said oxygen tank. So… whatever. Granny got to ride in an ambulance that, though it didn’t put it’s lights and siren on, did come with a pretty cool pair of EMTs who were very nice and also quite funny. So there was that.

It’s always scary to be admitted to the hospital when we’re not sure what exactly is happening, and have to rely on other people who know more than we do about certain stuff. It’s just hard on our patience to be a patient, really. Waiting for reasons and plans.

But the hospital, which we hadn’t been to before, turned out to be rather… well… awesome. And the nurses and docs made us comfortable (Granny more literally than me… her bed was really nice!) and we settled in for some poking and prodding and, of course, waiting.

Our conversations lasted hours and hours, meandering all over the place and, of course, included Grampa. We have never – not once since he died two years ago – avoided having him as a part of our everydays, whether we are laughing or crying or lamenting, apologizing or blaming him for something. So, of course, as we sat in the hospital wondering between tests and conversations with some pretty neat medical experts, we were talking about him. And talking about Grampa almost always leads to talking about Fred.

Several of the nurses had or loved dogs, so we got to share our Fred stories a few times…

The time we found him – our obese due to Grampa’s milk bones yellow lab – on the counter top (all four feet!)… one he could no way jump up on due to his circumference, eating a whole pan of brownies.

The time he stole the two-pound bag of mini-boxes of Milk Duds, ate every single milk dud, and left the flattened boxes all over the house (like, fifty of them!)

The fact that he was Grampa’s ‘walker’ before Grampa had to use a walker (he would use Fred – who somehow knew to stop vibrating and moving and stand perfectly still – as his balance to get up from his chair.

Ah, Fred and his stories.

And then, Tuesday morning, I am not kidding you… look who came in.
Walked right in with a very nice man who asked if anyone wanted some pet therapy.

Uh. Duh!

Granny and I were both shocked.

A sign from Grampa and Fred right?!

And we asked his name, and her name was Josie.

And Granny and I both laughed at ourselves for thinking Fred’s doppleganger might indeed also have his name. I mean, that would be asking too much from a sign, right? How powerful could Grampa’s and Fred’s juju be?!

We explained that once we had a dog named Fred and he looked just like Josie and we were so excited to meet her.

And then the very nice man asked what our dog’s name was again and we were patting Josie and laughing and we answered simultaneously, “Fred!”

And the man walked right up and pointed at his name tag and we both went silent…


Pet therapy, with a side of big-time powerful juju.

How cool is that?!

Thanks for readin’.

*We are home now, and Granny is doing fine. We feel very lucky.

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