Vector has been plagued with health issues, most stubbornly tick-borne ehrlichia, a relapse-remit autoimmune syndrome similar to human Lyme disease. I’ve written before how caring for Vector has made me a more patient, compassionate dad.
The process of treating Vector’s ehrlichia has dragged on for years. Various rounds of antibiotics have failed to significantly decrease Vector’s titers — bloodstream markers indicating the disease’s prevalence. It’s the toughest case our vet has seen in his decades-long career, and it will almost certainly shorten Vector’s life.
For a long while, this high-stakes hurry-up-and-wait was unacceptable. I — and, I think, a lot of rescue dog owners — am a bleeding-heart problem solver. I see a challenge, I try to overcome it. I see a wrong, I try to right it. I see a loved one struggling, I try to relieve it.
All the while, blissfully unaware, Vector is licking and jumping, sniffing and marking. He’s all-in on life. His ignorance becomes brilliance though a simple lesson: We can’t let unresolved issues — even big ones — prevent us from full, joyful lives.
And that brings me to my son.
Toddlers are blank slates. They are uncomplicated, uncompromised, bursting with potential. It’s beautiful now but, as our kids grow, parenthood promises an ever-fluid, head-spinning journey into the unknown.