Gus June 7 2013

Well, yesterday turned out to be quite an exciting day. At around 3:30 PM my youngest dog, Gus, started trying to throw up. This is not unusual for a dog. Only nothing came up, and he kept trying to empty his stomach for about 45 minutes. I had a church meeting to go to, but I could not just leave him. So, I called my vet and took him in to be checked. Of course, I was late to my meeting, but everyone understood. Gus was given two shots, and I was given pills to take home and  give him over the next two days. That little excursion cost $82.00. I have to keep telling myself he’s worth it—–and my peace of mind is worth it also.

He had not been fed anything unusual, and I did not find any disintegrated pen or pencil parts lying around. He was still eating and drinking,  and he never acted like he was in any pain. I didn’t figure out what I think happened until hours later. I had shaken some garlic and other spices into some salad dressing I was making for lunch, and I remembered sweeping the excess spices that didn’t land  in the salad bowl off onto the floor. I think Gus may have licked the spices up off the floor and that is what made him sick.

So, what can I learn from this in terms of spirituality? Well, let me see. First of all, a little spice in one’s life can become problematic if one has a bad reaction to the substance. That is what happened to me back in the day when I was practicing my drinking problem.  There were plenty of times I drank until I threw up. Fortunately, God gave me the gift of recovery before I poisoned myself to the point of death. In a way, Gus’ trip to the vet was like myself being introduced to a 12 step meeting.  I never saw anyone put $82.00 in the donation basket that was passed around, but the result of that introduction was priceless. I was given a “prescription” for healthy living, and with God’s help I have been able to follow it. Gus is sleeping in my lap as I type.  Like me, with a little loving help from a Higher Power, he has been able to follow  prescribed directions and is getting better.

I was the one that made the spices accessible to Gus, and, in a way, God  made alcohol and food accessible to me. However, I did not force my dog to lick the spices up off the floor, and God did not forced me to drink alcohol.  I am sure there is one big difference here—-Gus didn’t know what he was licking up could be harmful, and I always knew alcohol had the potential to be harmful. Following the prescription I was given to attain sobriety and stay in recovery is a matter of accepting  my Higher Power’s help and following the directions offered by AA’s twelve steps. This is a choice I have to make on a daily basis —- I have to turn my life and my will over to God on a daily basis  if I want to survive.  To my delight, I have found this turning over process to provide me with much more than mere survival. Following my “recovery prescription” has been given the gift of an evolving spirituality, and for this I will be eternally grateful. Today, I will, by the grace of God, turn things over to him as I go through my day. I will also keep spices that have the potential to be toxic to pets off my kitchen floor—-another lesson in common sense learned the hard way.  God bless and keep you.