Why Dog Is (Wo)Man’s Best Friend

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The other day I had the worst experience of my life, and I really think the only reason I made it out okay was our dog, Ronan.

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As anyone following our adventures here or on Facebook knows, I was in a 4 wheeler wreck not to long ago. I immediately went to the ER and checked out fine, I didn’t get knocked out or have a concussion. I even got in to a dentist and had my fractured teeth fixed that same week. Well a few days ago we had made a trip into town to do some shopping and pick up some more chickens. We couldn’t fit everything on the 4 wheeler for the trip home so we left some of our groceries in the truck. The next morning I volunteered to drive the 15 miles by myself to the truck and bring everything else back.

Well a trip that should have taken 2 hours ended up taking me 9 hours. And I never made it to the truck. It seems I suffered an episode of some kind of amnesia (most likely transient global amnesia). I can only remember bits and pieces of Friday morning, and almost none of the rest of the day. I was basically Dory from Finding Nemo, but without being able to remember that I couldn’t remember. I can recall telling Kyle I was taking Ronan with me since I’d be going slow on the beach (we still need to replace a piece on the 4 wheeler from my wreck, so it pulls to the right a bit). I remember being scared and not knowing where I was going or how I got there or why I was alone. There is another access up the bluff between ours and the park where we keep the truck, and I know I stopped there because there were trucks parked at the bottom. I know I walked up that access at least twice, and knocked on the door to at least one cabin. I know I walked inland, away from the beach for a ways and couldn’t recall deciding to go that way, so I followed Ronan back to the beach. I also sat in the trucks and honked the horn in case anyone could hear. Morse code SOS, cause, ya know, the me that knew nothing still remembered that, thank you high school history class. I waited there for a bit, and at another cabin at some point in time because it was familiar to me. At one point I turned on the truck because I couldn’t remember the date and was listening to the radio to know when the tide was. And when they announced the date I immediately forgot, even though I knew they had just said it.

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The whole time I was back and forth on the beach and up and down to the bluff Ronan was with me. In all of my “awake” times I can remember him being with me and just thinking over and over again that I was okay as long as he was there. The only reason I even went home is because I saw Ronan heading that way, so I followed. And he wasn’t even home when I got there! Kyle had to go find him the next day at our friends cabin (where I’d spent some time sitting because it was familiar even though I couldn’t remember why. I was just to scared to move from there for a while).

Of course this would have been scary enough had it happened in town, but having it happen where there was no guarantee of being found was really terrifying. Ronan was the only thing keeping me calm most of the time.

It really was like being completely blacked out and not knowing where I was, how I’d gotten there, or why I was there. I kept thinking even if I found someone I didn’t know how to ask for help, the only thing I could remember was my mom’s cell phone number (which she is NEVER allowed to change now). I didn’t even remember my name or why I needed help at one point, just that I knew I did and that I needed to stay with the dog. All of my memories of the day come from being “awake”, which seemed to happen more often as the day went on. I have almost no memories during daylight but have more and more at dusk and after dark.

Once I got home I knew exactly that that was where I needed to be to be safe, and I recognized Kyle and our daughter (though I refused to hold her because I still wasn’t “me” for a while after). By the next morning I felt fine, and have had no memory lapses since. Hopefully this was a one time thing, potentially caused by stress from the wreck, and never happens again. Luckily Kyle will be home to keep an eye on me until his job starts next month (did I mention he got a job? Yay!).

I did make some strange decisions while I was out of it. For some reason I thought maybe I was out searching for spirit stones so I came home with one in my pocket, and had left another 3 on the beach, which Kyle retrieved the next day. But my boots weren’t muddy so I must have found them on shore somehow. I also came home with a bear spray and tide book that I hadn’t left with, but I must have known it was a good idea to have them so I took them. I’d love to return them, if only I could remember where I had borrowed them from! (Update, figured this out and returned them!) I also came home with an empty tank in the 4 wheeler. It was full when I left, and can go at least 40 miles before it runs out, so I probably drove up and down the beach a lot. And I can remember unbuttoning all my layers down to a tank top multiple times to make sure I wasn’t wearing my boba and I hadn’t lost my daughter. I wasn’t sure if I had really checked all the times I thought I had before!

Amnesia is no joke, and not something I would wish on my worst enemy. Apologies if this post is somewhat jumbled and jumps around. My memories and emotions from that day are still off as well, so this is the best record of my impressions from that day that I can write.

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Anyway, Ronan got lots of petting and treats the next day. If he didn’t directly save my life, he kept me from putting myself in more danger than I already was by keeping me calm and oriented toward the beach and home! Good dog!

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