Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Photo Illustration Featuring Ginger Puppy

So I totally understand if some of you who are friends with me don’t wanna be friends with me right now. Because bad things are happening to my friends all over the place.

Seriously. Cancer diagnoses, aneurysms in heart walls, job stress, financial stress, car stress, losing jobs, seeking counseling for stress matters, being sick for the past couple of months, yeah, months, not weeks. This is what’s going on with all of you. Not me. Nothing’s wrong with me. Which makes me feel just awful.

Like if there was one of those double bladed ax things above all our heads going back and forth, and I was the only one who successfully ducked each time, so the blade picked off one of you instead, whereas if I only had taken the blow that one time, I could’ve saved one of you. I totally would’ve done it, had I known that was the metaphor we were all in.

This bad news is extending not just to my human friends, but my four legged ones as well.

Behold Ginger Puppy, in all her misery. She had surgery on a torn tendon last week. She knows EXACTLY how ridiculous she looks. The shaved leg, the inflatable blue collar to keep her from chewing out her stitches.

At least it’s not this collar: This is the Collar Of Shame, which is what she has to wear when I wasn’t at home this weekend. She hates this collar a lot. It prevents her from going inside her crate, from drinking out of her water bowl, and from getting close to me when I come home. Because the Collar of Shame hits my leg first. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk.

She’s not allowed to go up and down stairs, and of course, that’s all this housesitting house is! Lots and lots of stairs! Which means I’ve been carrying her everywhere, all weekend long. She’s really heavy, folks. You’ll see it in a second.

(Basil Diva Dog, meanwhile, has been doing his own thing, and paying a good Never You Mind on us both. I think he’s secretly laughing at Ginger Puppy, he’s never liked her, not really.)

And I was thinking, there has to be an awesome metaphor to this. Like a really awesome religious metaphor. I haven’t churned out any burning insight in quite some time, and here is this poor poor pooch with the chicken looking hindleg and can’t I figure something out to justify this weekend and Ginger Puppy’s unspoken pain? Can’t I turn Ginger Puppy’s Unspoken Pain and Baleful Glances Into Religious Metaphor GOLD!? CAN’T I, PEOPLE!? CAN’T I!?

Well, I couldn’t. Not until I went to church today, and right in the middle of the sermon on 1 Peter, did it hit me: Idiot. It’s not about you. It’s about everyone else.

I don’t have pain. I don’t have suffering. Whatever stress I have is more of an Eeyore Mumbling well. That sucks. Oh well. Other people have it much worse than I do. Guess I’ll go eat some thistles now.

So while I don’t mean to mitigate anyone’s pain, here’s a hopefully charming and humorous photo journey into What God Does For You. I will be playing the role of God (HA! That never happens!) Ginger Puppy is playing the role of All Of You. (Special thanks to Meriwether, who did most of the work behind the camera.)

This is you. You are in pain. You are in pain and nobody knows it, chiefly because you happen to be lying on your recently operated leg. You are also blind, no, sorry. Your hair is in your face, and that’s how you grew up, so you don’t even know the difference at this point. Sometimes you see, sometimes you don’t, you get along with the world just fine.

And you are alone. Nobody’s in the room with you, and if only you had opposable thumbs, you’d work that Macbook sitting behind you and email some peeps to come keep you company. But…no. No you wouldn’t, because you’re in pain and you’re alone and you think that God has abandoned you. A cruel God who placed you in a house full of stairs, with an aloof older brother who’s laughing at you from upstairs, and this blue inflatable collar that you have to wear to keep you from gnawing at your sin NO, your stitches. Those creepy creepy stitches (that were soooooo creepy I took a picture of them and promptly deleted it because they were just too creepy to post on a blog.)

Life sucks, you’re a dog, your hair is in your face, you’re alone, and you itch.

Except. You’re not alone. You’ve got God.

Whatever with God you think. God doesn’t do shit for me. God put me in this awful house of stairs. God made my tendon tear. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything except be a dog. I’m SUPPOSED to be a dog. I was being myself. I didn’t deserve a torn tendon.

You’re right. You didn’t deserve a torn tendon. You don’t deserve an aloof older brother laughing at you from upstairs, and a blue inflatable collar that causes your snoring to increase triplefold in volume. And that’s the GOOD collar. We shall not speak of the Collar Of Shame.

But you do have God.

God will pick you and your shaved chickenleg up. God will not mock your left foot tuff, and will wonder along with you why the vet decided to shave everything BUT that. It does look kinda silly. But God just smiles at you and picks you up anyway. Oh, and you’re still blind because your hair is still in your face. But God just smiles at you and picks you up anyway. Because God loves you and your silly tuffed foot, and your blue inflatable collar, and the scary stitches that we can’t show on this blog.

You are wounded. Literally, you’ve got a big huge gaping scar that you’re not gonna show anyone, because people would think it’s gross, and would then think you and your huge gaping scar is gross, and why would you wanna gross people out by showing them your big huge gaping scar, and who wants to be that vulnerable, anyway, right?

God still loves you and your big huge gaping scar. Your big huge gaping scar does not scare off God. He sure winces on your behalf, because WOW, it looks really painful. But God picks you up anyway. Not because He has to. Yes, He’s in charge of you, He’s responsible for your care. But because He loves you. You belong to Him. He will take care of you. He will pick you up.

(and yes, you better believe you are heavy. And yes, you better believe carrying you and your chickenleg, and your silly tuffed foot, and your big huge gaping scar, and your blue inflatable collar up and down multiple stairs from Thursday to Monday is exhausting work, which is why God is currently relaxing with a mojito while you snore next to His office chair. And this is where we also point out God’s awesome awesome biceps. It’s not just where the shadow hit it. It’s really that awesome. All those bootcamp classes at the gym are paying off! WOOT!)

God will pick you up and carry you. Sure, you THINK you can make it on your own, and yeah, you probably could, but if God left you to your own devices, you’d be tearing all over this backyard, and you’d injure yourself in ways you didn’t even think possible. I bet you’re not thinking about a faceplant into the pool, with your inflatable collar barely keeping you above water, or a bloody chickenleg, or choking on surgical stitches, are you? God is. God is and he does NOT want that for you, you poor little hair in your face pooch, you.

God will pick you up and carry you. Up and down the stairs. ALL WEEKEND LONG. God and God’s awesome biceps will carry you through the bushes to your special pee spot beneath that one tree in the backyard. You won’t go anywhere else. You like peeing there. And God knows you like your special pee spot, and will carry you to it again and again. ALL WEEKEND LONG. Because that’s what God does. God picks you up, and carries you even when you think you can get there on your own, because if you did try to get there on your own, you’d hurt yourself worse. So God will carry you.

(God will even give you your privacy. Once He’s taken a picture. Of course.)

God loves you, poor little Ginger Puppy. You only have a dim understanding of what’s going on, all you know is pain, ache, itch, and why can’t I do this by MYSELF already, and WHAT’S WITH THE HAIR!? THE HAIR IN MY EYES!? WHY DOES IT JUST HANG THERE! SOMEBODY CUT IT ALREADY!

But God know a bit more than you. And while He can’t make you understand all the ins and outs of canine healing or owner grooming whims, He can carry you. You are heavy. You look silly. And your breath isn’t the greatest. But He will carry you.

He will even hold your paw, the front one they shaved for the morphine patch, while you both sit in the media room watching Sherlock Holmes on Blu-Ray. Okay, God’s watching the movie, and you’re snoring away, because you can’t understand Robert Downey Jr. in a British accent, and since you’re a dog, you can’t read the subtitles when God turns them on. But there are times when you just want someone to hold your paw. And so God does that.

God didn’t have the camera for that one. But He (SHE) was there. Holding your paw. Because God loves you. He really really does.


Michelle said...

Amazing. God does have awesome biceps.

Lauri said...

Well, this one made me cry until I laughed. So God should look at what (s)he wrote and call it good. And I will fearlessly continue to be friends with God because we don't have to worry about the possibility of aneurysms and a been there, done that sort of way. :)

aartilla the fun said...

this is wonderful amy! i'm going to send it to my friends who believe that they are on their own. i wish i could talk to them the way you write. this is really amazing, and the most amazing part of it all is... IT'S TRUE!!!!!!