Dog Walking can be Dangerous
Well, while working during this glorious Sunday, quite an event took place. My charge was off having lunch with her son in the cafe. I went to have my lunch on the little porch off of her apartment. As I was sitting there enjoying my left over fresh pasta with tasteless pesto (mine will always be better) I heard a lot of short burst yelling. At first I thought that it must have been some work men and I was a annoyed that they were interrupting my peaceful lunch. Then the out bursts came more quickly and I realized someone was in trouble. I left my cell phone behind in haste and started running towards the now screaming. As I got closer I could here a man yelling "help me, help me." "I'm coming" I said. I have found it is always helpful to reply that "I am on my way because it's always comforting to know that help is on the way. The man was calling in distress repeatedly at this point. I ran down the stairs, which were many, and saw this 85+ year old man lying on the ground, his dog by his side tightly tethered. He had blood all over his clothes and it was obvious that it was coming from his hand. After being in this business for almost 15 years I have come to recognize "Coumadin" blood. It is much thinner than regular blood, which is the point, but it's also brighter. He probably wouldn't have bled so much if he hadn't been on it, save that for another post.He was grateful for the quick attention. A few moments after I got there an employee from the building arrived with her cell phone. She was able to call for help but I was surprised how long it took help to arrive. She called the front desk which has the ability to page anybody. Leaving a message like this on voice mail is stupid. That in mind, it took over 10 minutes for someone to arrive. In the meantime the girl and I were tending to the old man. I took my sweater off and put it under his head. When he was comfortable he started telling us what happened. He was walking his dog and for some reason the dog took off. It jerked his hand and he went flying forward. The dog remained by his side but was absolutely clueless. I remember we had a dog when the kids were very young. He was a beautiful Golden Retriever named Oliver. He was so alert, so present. When you looked in his eyes you saw a caring, loving human being. This little dog was as vacant as a tree. "Huh? Huh? Did something go wrong?" I could hear his little dog conscience whine, "Did I do that?". Finally, the Nurse showed up and called the ambulance. Finally his wife showed up showing about as much concern for her husband as did the dog. Her first words were "Did this reeeeeally happen again?" Apparently so.The older we get the more difficult it is to do the simplest things. Old people need companions. They need to be with someone who can be alert for them. Someone who has strength where they used to, who has ears where they used to, who has balance where they used, eyes where they used to. We make up the parts of them that are failing.