At 2 am the soreness in my hand wakes me up, and I remember. Nine hours earlier, I failed to revive a dog with emergency treatment. The chest compressions of my final attempt bent back my thumb. My only comforts are that Dog no longer hurts and my thumb does. I fall back into a troubled sleep.

I wake up thinking about Dog’s family.

Every time Russ asks why I am crying or scowling or staring off or, at one point, freaking out when I am in the sun, not the shade, at an outdoor concert, I say, “I need to have been able to save him.”  I am pretty sure that is not even a valid sentence structure.

Even now, I do not want to be anywhere else but in the middle of grief for a dog I just met.

I have normal range of motion and a small, persistent ache. 

I hope next week is better – how could it not be?

I know that though it will be a long road, the hearts of Dog’s family members will heal, almost completely.

I hope that my thumb does not heal, but it already feels better. Dang it.