I’m writing this at 3:30 p.m on Christmas Day, almost three weeks to the hour when we tried to feed Jojo and discovered that her hind legs didn’t work. In under two hours she was in a special veterinary hospital and on her way to surgery. When the vet’s assistant brought us the estimated cost of her surgery, we looked at each other and said, “Guess what we’re getting for Christmas?” And so, without another thought, we signed for the king’s ransom and sent her off to the neurosurgeon.
But here’s a word of gratitude about that king’s ransom. Where did it come from? My readers, that’s who. You people out there funded Jojo’s surgery—every penny of it, so thank you.
Those first few days when we brought her home as an incontinent, paraplegic were terrifying and challenging and every other participle you can think of. Carrying a 15 pound dog in and out of the house and back and forth to the bedroom has been tough on my back, made tougher by the worry that things might not get better. We went through dozens of pee pads and load after load of laundry as well. But then things started looking up. She was able to squat, pee, and get back up. I can put her out in the dog yard and then have her wait for me to lift her up the steps to get back into the house.
She can walk on all fours back and forth to the bedroom. She staggers a bit, and occasionally her back end tries to get ahead of her front end. But she can walk. She can wag her tail, and last night she took herself over to the fireplace, wiggled around for a bit, and then turned over onto her back—her all-time favorite position. And the fact that she is eating right now after grabbing her obnoxious rubber chicken and squeaking it like crazy, demanding her supper, counts as a miracle for me—a Christmas miracle.
But I believe I promised you two. I have a friend who has a thirty-something special needs son who met, fell in love with, and married a special needs young woman. For years the young bride has spent most of her time in a wheelchair. For Christmas this year, her husband got her a “red-racer walker,” and the other night she used it, walking from one end of their church to the other. Another Christmas miracle? You bet. He gifted her with the belief that she could walk upright, and she did.
The skill of a neurosurgeon’s hands made Jojo’s recovery possible, but behind both of these miracles is the power of love—a husband’s love for his wife and our love for out pet.
And isn’t love what Christmas is all about?