Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bright Spots in the Darkest Days

The day after Mabel died, I was booked to teach. Despite being a complete and utter mess, I kept the gig... I had a ginormous vet bill and what good would sitting home do?

I was teaching in the better school district, where the parents are often very well paid professionals and have certain expectations of how their children should behave.  This often makes teaching there a dream compared to the "hazard pay" district. But apparently all bets are off right before school is out.

I was teaching a junior math class and as I was handing out the class work I noticed a sandwich on the floor. I found the kid it belonged to and the kid he was throwing his food at and had them clean it up. As class went on, I kept hearing a strange noise behind me but as I was occupied with the school's new fangled attendance system on the computer, I never gave it much thought.  At the end of class, it was much louder. And suddenly, I realized the naughty boys had been throwing food at me the entire class and as they left the room they lobbed the remainder of the sandwich at me.

I wrote them up... the only time I've ever done that in this district... and the school sent someone to take pictures and clean up the mess.  I was on the verge of tears as the next class began. I gave them their assignment and spent the rest of the class biting my lip to keep it together. By the last class, word had spread through campus. A senior asked if he could leave for some reason and I let him. He was gone a long time. When he showed back up, just before class was out, he returned with a box full of smoothies from the local Jamba Juice and insisted I get first pick, because he had heard I'd had a bad day. 

His kindness lifted my spirits but I knew I had no reason to hurry home and was growing sadder and feeling so sorry for myself.  The day ended and I went to the office to sign out and saw him:

He was a therapy dog. I don't know why he was there...I've never seen him since. The school secretary told me to give him a hug... and I dove to the floor and just rolled around with him...not caring one bit that my employers might be looking. As I hugged him, I started to sob. And he started to lick my tears away.

Concerned, his handler came over to apologize and correct him. "He's trained not to do that."  Only when I looked up at her did she see my tears.  I could barely whisper, "My dog died yesterday." She backed away and left me with him. I cried and cried until there were no more tears and then we played and played.

I don't know where this angel came from but I'm forever grateful our paths crossed that day.


Millie and Walter said...

Wow! What a touching story. How lucky that the beautiful golden was there for you that day.

The Adventures of the LLB Gang said...

What a lovely story....just proves that angels are everywhere!

rottrover said...

Do you think Mabel Lou sent him? A hawt blond guy to cheer up her mom? No. Me neither, but beautiful story.

Anonymous said...

I cried with you as I read your post. I'm sure this dog was a golden Angel, sent from Mabel Lou. I'm so sorry that you had to go through the sandwich-adventure just on this day, where your heart was so heavy, but I was surprised about the senior, that was a super nice way to show sympathy.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Wow, you hVe mom crying too, what w kind young man and what a super find in that dog! He/she was meant to be there for you.

And mom says kids can be such brats for a sub, and it is usually the more privileged ones that pull stuff like that.

Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

Snowbrush said...

After my first miniature black schnauzer, Wendy, died, I saw a giant black schnauzer in a book store that looked just like her, and I cried into that dog's fur.

Once, I had a woman come up to me while I was with my two dogs, and she said that one of them looked like her dog that had just died, and she started crying and walked away. I didn't want her to walk away, and I still feel badly that I didn't say something to let her know that I welcomed her tears.

It's not about death, but there's one other thing that I feel badly about pertaining to what I didn't do regarding a dog. When my second schnauzer, Baxter, was little, I had a hell of a time leash-breaking him. One day, he was tugging against his leash so hard that he was gagging, and a woman who saw us said in alarm, "You are strangling your Scottie!" I didn't know what she expected of me, so I said nothing. I still feel badly about that.

KB said...

What an incredible day... the darkest of days but the day that the world rose to support you. From that senior who was so kind to that wonderful therapy dog. Therapy dogs are incredible, aren't they? Shyla goes with me to Physical Therapy sometimes, and it is amazing to see how having a sweet dog in the office changes everyone's demeanor.