A Sleepless Night

Watching him sleep, I am convinced everything will be alright in the end. I’m running on the fumes of sleep, but I am finally hopeful that things will be normal after a while. Last night, my dog Zeke was attacked by a copperhead snake. My family adopted Zeke when I was 11. He had been found as a stray that had been dumped on the side of the road. My family and I have never been entirely sure what his breed is, but he looks most like a German Shepherd/ Pit-bull mix.

Zeke is around 8 years old, so the outlook for him pulling through the snake attack wasn’t great. When I first saw him after the attack, my heart was again broken to pieces. The innocent look of fear I saw in his eyes has scarred me. Zeke has never done anything to anybody to warrant this kind of pain.

On our porch, Zeke sat with his puffy and swollen left paw, in the middle of a circle of his family. A cozy and warm bed was made for him but he would not lie in it. He saw how I was affected and never ceased trying to cheer me up. He was the one who had a life hanging in the balance, but he was worried about my own wellbeing. My dad let Zeke inside, acting with the sentiment, “The couch is where he slept when he came home as a puppy and if he has to die, it’ll be where he dies.”

Zeke limped in our house and uncertaintly jumped on the couch. He knew something was very wrong at this point, because my father has never been too friendly with him, let alone given him couch privileges. I sat next to my best friend and told him comforting words. He still would not lay down even though he was wounded and hurting from a pain I have never felt my whole life. He jumped from the couch and crawled into my father’s recliner. I followed him and let my sixty-pound boy sleep the night through on my legs. I did not move. I did not sleep. I wept for him and the pain he felt and did not understand. I kept vigil for my dog to make sure he was still breathing.

Miraculously, the swelling in his comically large paw began to subside. This morning, he was able to walk with only a slight limp outside to use the bathroom. Then he chased the cat. The snake who attacked Zeke wounded him physically, but did not harm his spirit. He has spent the better part of the day resting and regaining his strength. Last night I could have very well lost my best friend. I don’t know how he made it through the attack, but he did and I do not have to say goodbye to my best friend today.