It’s odd, the things that can impact your life. Honey, our wonderful, crazy, irrepressible Cocker Spaniel, had to have an operation earlier this month. An abscess had developed just below her right ear; a rock-hard lump that swelled dramatically until it was encroaching beneath her throat, and it was making her life a misery. The operation was straight forward enough but, of course, there’s always a risk with such procedures, particularly when a general anaesthetic is used. Suddenly there was the very real possibility, however slim, that she might not survive. Contemplating that prospect made me realise how devastating her loss would be, and what a hole it would leave in our lives if she wasn’t there.
Thankfully, Honey did survive, and Helen and I have enjoyed the added comedic value of seeing her negotiate house and garden for the following nine days sporting a plastic funnel many sizes too large for her. The thing must have been intended for an Alsatian. Poor Honey’s head disappeared completely within. Last night is the first we’ve let her sleep without the funnel attached to her collar, which feels like a corner successfully turned.
Helen has been a nurse since she was 18. Now, after the best part of thirty years, she hates what her job has become as opposed to what it was. Stressed, disillusioned and frustrated, Helen has decided to leave nursing all together. The prospect saddens her, because this has always been her vocation and the work she loves; but the job she signed up for no longer exists, and the one that’s replaced it is too bound up in red tape and paperwork, with patient care too low a priority to fulfil her. Instead, she’s taking up a position in charge of rehoming cats for an animal shelter. It means a drastic reduction in her income (reduced to less than half what she’s been earning as a nurse) and we have no idea how we’re going to cope; but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There really are more important things than money. Seeing the weight lift off Helen’s shoulders since she made this decision has been a joy. Helen has supported me unstintingly as I pursue my dream; I’m proud to now do the same for her.