Summer is slipping away. To people who don’t teach, you’re probably thinking, “Oh don’t you complain about summer ending! At least you get a summer break – that’s a long lost memory to me.”
Yes, one of the only (non-emotional) perks to my job is the summer break. But no matter how hard I tried to explain to you just how essential the time off is, I don’t think you would understand. Please just try to believe me.
I can’t believe two weeks from today will be the night before I go back to work. Did I waste my break? No. But I did spend too much of it working (the month of June I did curriculum writing for the district), and too much of it deprived of me-time (Hungary) and to much of it worrying about my poor, perfect, sweet, sick dog. If given the chance to change the way I spent my summer break, would I? No. (Well, except for Bartley being sick. Of course I would change that.) It’s just unfortunate that these experiences ended up being so draining, and with no break in between.
So I want to play hard and work hard these next two weeks. There are things for school that, if left undone, I will torment myself over for the rest of the school year. But the opposite is true as well: Today I found myself making audible sighing noises by the pool, as I felt the breeze and sun on my skin, and couldn’t believe I’ve deprived myself of that amazing, rejuevenating, liberating feeling for so long.
I’ve been watching Bartley 24/7, practically, ever since we got back. In 10 days, he’s had 8 visits to 3 different veterinary clinics. Throughout it all, his health hasn’t improved, and in fact, it even worsened for a few days. We still don’t even have a diagnosis, although we have some best guesses. I think we’re finally reaching a turning point now that we decided to transfer him to an internist. The poor guy. I was so proud of myself yesterday when I decided to let go of the veterinarian I’ve trusted for so long because I knew in my heart and mind that she wasn’t helping Bartley anymore.
Bartley is a fighter, and we will get through this, especially now that we have an expert fighting for him as well. He has already survived heart worms and distemper, not to mention the fact that he was rescued from a kill shelter the day he was to be euthanized, and then was in foster care for a year and a half. The first four times I visited him, he wouldn’t let me pick him up. But he never barked at me – he walked right up to me and sniffed me, and his foster mom was astounded.
During the fifth visit to his foster home, I was walking him around the block, and a loud crash came from a construction site. Bartley tried to run away, and I instinctively scooped him up, and he collapsed into me. From that point on, he knew I was safety, I was his home.
So while working hard and playing hard and collecting points are goals of mine, at the moment, helping him get better is really all that’s on my mind.