Phineas crossed a new threshold this weekend and taught me another big lesson in the healing process. It’s now been 2 months since his surgery. It was beautiful outside yesterday afternoon so we suited up and headed for Rock Creek Park. I wasn’t sure if or how Phin would navigate it. It’s been almost 6 months since we’ve been out on any trails and Rock Creek has some steep hills. I figured I would let him try it and if it was too much for him, then I could carry him.
I was skittish about approaching the hills, but Phin wasn’t phased by them one bit. He went after them with his usual gusto, bounding straight up without giving it a second thought. He’s not quite as agile as he used to be and he’s a little slower, but he did damn good. We arrived back home 2 and a half hours later. Phin was tired, though so was I.
I’ll be the first to admit that I still monitor Phin’s gait on a daily basis. There isn’t a moment that goes by when I’m not abundantly grateful that he’s with me. I remember all too well how close I came to losing him, and how close he came to losing his ability to walk.
The thing is that Phin doesn’t worry the way I do. He doesn’t get caught up in the psychology of injury, nor in the hard work of healing. To him, this is just life now and he’s happy. He knows he gets tired more easily and that he’s lost some flexibility in his spine. He knows he teeters over from time to time and that he can’t run quite as fast as he used to run. He loves and knows he is loved, and that’s his focus. To him, every walk, wonky or not, is a good walk. Every day is a good day. I’m not as zen as he is about all of it, but I’m trying and Phin is a patient and enthusiastic teacher.