Preston was not an inherently nurturing creature, but then again, I’m not either. So, it really touched me when he tried to comfort me when I was sick.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that my ex-husband Eric had poisoned me. It happened three months before we separated. That whole day he and I had eaten the exact same things.
At the time, we had two guys doing the siding on our house. They came in one day and pulled all of the old siding off. The dumpster in front became full very quickly, so they had to pile the rest of it in the back yard for the night. The truck came a little after they left and emptied the dumpster.
For dinner, we had grilled polenta with eggplant and pasta sauce. No problem. We had made it many, many times before. We did our usual night of watching a movie and then I went to bed.
At 3 am, I woke up abruptly and realized that I didn’t feel very well. Then it got worse. I broke out in a sweat and had that feeling you get when you are about to throw up. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom where I proceeded to throw out the majority of my dinner.
I thought that was the end of it. I brushed my teeth a little and rinsed with mouthwash and went back to bed. But soon, the feeling came again and I had to do it all over again.
“Are you okay?” Eric asked sleepily.
“Not exactly,” I said. But Eric was already sound asleep again.
And, thus it went for every fifteen minutes…and then every half hour…and finally it rested on every hour on the hour. I could have set a watch to it. By the time the two men who were replacing the siding returned in the morning, I had emptied my entire gastrointestinal tract and was in a deep sleep. Still, every hour I had to go and attempt to vomit even though all that came was burning green bile.
When I awoke about 9 am I found out that the workers had actually been there since 8 am and were moving the siding that was left from the previous day to the dumpster – as quietly as they possibly could. I was amazed that they would do such a thing and actually pulled it off quite nicely.
Meanwhile, as I crawled back to bed from the bathroom, Eric came in to tell me he was going to take Preston for a walk.
“Can I get you anything?” he asked. It seemed to me that he sounded a little bit guilty.
“How about a gun?” I suggested dryly. As they left, I fell back to sleep.
After Eric and Preston came back, after Preston had been fed, after my hourly dry-heaves, I crawled back to bed once again. Preston jumped up next to me. I hugged him a bit and wearily told him what a good dog he was. I then rolled over to stare at the ceiling for a few minutes. I expected that he would leave immediately, as he normally would. Outside, I could hear the workers now hammering new siding in with a nail gun.
Of course! Preston hated nail guns!
Preston stayed. He just lay down and stayed there. I was still breaking into sweats on and off. This was the only time ever that I really, really did NOT want a hot, furry creature next to me – that I had to climb over to get to the bathroom. I didn’t chase him away though. There were so many other times I really liked having him there so I didn’t want to discourage him from jumping up on the bed (I can actually hear the groan and see the eye-roll of trainers everywhere as I wrote that sentence. Take that, Cesar Milan!).
So Preston stayed by my side. Oh, sure, it can be argued that he was only there because the sound of the nail gun scared him, but I believe that he was there to comfort me. And many times, I had to carefully crawl around him so as not to disturb him. Preston was only there for a few hours, but that was a long time for him. Preston moved around a lot. But that is a different story.
Preston was hanging with me, I am sure, because he knew that I wasn’t feeling well, or at least that I wasn’t my “usual” self. Actually, that was the worst that I have ever, EVER felt. At 3 am the next morning, EXACTLY 24 hours after it had started, it was over.
One other time that Preston showed an altruistic nature was when we were running in Mac Forest. I mostly stay on the main logging roads when I run. This means that they are roads that are made of gravel of varying sizes. I have a tendency of rolling my ankle when I’m not paying close attention. Usually, these are moments when Preston knew that I wasn’t thinking in the moment and he could run away.
There I was, jogging non-chalantly along when my foot hit a gravel-rock just wrong and I twisted my ankle. I actually fell to my arse. As I was sitting there a little bit dazed, Preston actually came back to me, sniffed me, and spent a few minutes circling me. Of course I am anthropomorphizing again, but he really did seem like he cared and he was protecting me. Then I stood up and we started running again.
This was very different from a similar time when I was with Filbert. I still am a little mad at him for it. Fil and I were walking one early morning in early spring when we crossed a ditch. Fil bounded over it as it was small and there really was nothing to it. I jumped over it and found the one hole in the other side. I fell. This time I really, really DID hurt my ankle.
As I lay there trying to collect myself, Fil came back for just a moment and then immediately turned. He headed down the trail and I could almost hear him saying:
“C’mon Kell. Let’s go! There’s food at the end of this trek!!”
So much for “Fido”.