Remembering What I Don’t Know

Sometimes, you have to remember what you don’t know.

Sometimes, you have to sprinkle a little trust dust on the world and go with the flow til it all shakes out.

We’re dog people. We have dogs because we have big, fur-lovin’ hearts and weak minds that thrive on endless, extra work. Dog people.

“Some of our greatest treasures we place in museums,
others, we take for walks.”     ~unknown


In early August one of our girls blew out a knee ligament. We were told it would take several thousand dollars and 4-months of rest and she’d be good as new. Well….okay, then.


Like good fur parents we obliged. We created spreadsheets to manage the post-operative medications. At one point, there were 9 daily doses, not including supplements used to support pain and liver function. Initially, she had to be carried to the yard, then a beach towel was used as a sling for moving her up and down the steps. She had to stay confined and walk on a short leash to use the “restroom.”

After about 2 weeks we discovered a MRSP infection. This is the equivalent of MRSA in people. I must admit, it struck terror in my heart. The prescription was a month long round of a strong and potentially deadly (to people) antibiotic. Faithfully, we’d glove up and administer it every 8 hours. We did this for a month…and worried…a lot.

Now, we’re in month 3. It’s looking pretty good, but it feels a bit like we’re all on the short leash. Dog is getting antsy and it’s a loooong recovery. What I notice most is her wonky, herky-jerky gait. I tend to focus on that locking leg as I take her for 10-15 minute walks in the front yard, trying to build muscle tone – hers and mine. The surgeon says it’s lack of muscle tone…here comes the trust.

I struggle to remember there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know.

I focus on what I observe. I draw my own conclusions. But, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know about a lot of things. Don’t tell anyone, okay?

Forgetting what I don’t know steals the beauty of the now. Drawing conclusions based on my limited knowledge of ANYTHING, yanks me out of the moment and pulls me into my own, faulty story. (click to Tweet)

So, if I create menacing stories in my head, you probably do it too. Think about the blank spaces you’re filling in for your life. What magic are you missing before your eyes?



It’d be better to focus on the enjoyment we get walking in the front yard, soaking up the last of the year’s lingering sunshine. I know she’s bearing weight on that leg and that’s a good thing…I could focus on that. This situation drives home the fact we often get dragged out of a decent, or even precious, present to steep in our own scary stories.

I’m not advocating for denial. It’s important to address real concerns. The hard part, at least for me, is letting it go afterward, and rejoining the abundant the flow.

I believe, this week, I wrote this post more for me than you – and I banged it out without much preparation. I don’t know how it’ll be received. It’s a Dear Diary sort thing and really could use a bit more polish. But, for now, I’m going to focus on remembering what I don’t know and enjoying what’s here now.

I Hope You Do The Same,



Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Lived Life by drinking in Writer, Artist, Coachthe beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.
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14 Replies to “Remembering What I Don’t Know”

  1. I think the very best blogs Michelle are a mix of personal and other-focused; a mix of more polished and tender transparency. This is what are lives are, and I think we should be expressing that.

    And what an important message. I think we all need to be reminded of that the dance of not knowing and finding ways to stay present to the goodness available is a fluid one.

    Goodness what a challenge your sweet dog’s recovery has been. I hope these final stages are met with ease and grace and speed, and it remains easier to focus on the now moments of joy.

  2. Aw, what a sweet girl. I do wish her a speedy and long lasting recovery, Michelle. We do ruin what have with the fear of what we might lose, don’t we. I’m reminded of the advice my late dad gave me when my kids were little. A paediatrician, he advised: try and focus less on the symptoms (ie: hives, sore throat etc) in favour of the behaviour. Is he/she happy? Zooming about and eager to play? That’s the important thing.
    Having said that, it is hard when dogs start to feel better and their energy is back, yet they have to still lay low. I’m a dog person too and your pup reminds me SO much of Oscar,our late golden.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Kelly. Yes, we miss a lot of good when we focus on what might be. Silly humans. The dog stays in the moment so much better than I do. I’ll continue to take notes. 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing a personal story. We did a similar intervention for a cat we had. Drove back and forth to North Carolina from Pennsylvania 4 times one summer while he received treatment for a cancer. (NC State at the time had the most cutting edge treatment.) We fur parents will do just about anything for our ‘kids’.
    To the point of your story, I am reading the Power of Now that addresses the very issue of living in the now & not stressing about the future. I must constantly remind myself of staying in the now. My husband was very ill a while back and is now doing better. Sadly I sometimes miss the joy of what we do now, worrying about what will happen if he gets sick again. I cannot prevent that, but I can focus on enjoying the time we have together now. It is amazing that our own thought patterns get in the way of our happiness!

    1. Mindfulness is a practice, isn’t it, Susan. I’m glad your husband is better. Enjoy each minute, each day. If we could all do that, than of how much richer our lives would be. Thank you for your support. Hugs!

  4. I’m a dog person too – we have three – and they shadow us everywhere. I’d be lost without them! I even took a dog cpr/first aid class last month. But, the point you made is so very true – profoundly so. The fear of losing what you have and subsequently not moving forward. Something to think about!

  5. I’m a dog person….without dogs. Sad and I miss my two furballs so very much. Our male Cosmo struggled with Degenerative Myelopathy….had a wheeled cart the last year of his life. So I know all to well about all those menacing stories with a bit of denial thrown in for good measure. I won’t go into the care involved….except to say that it was the most exhausting thing I ever did and I would do it all again to have him back for one sweet moment of tail wags and furry kisses. I know your baby with continue to improve with all your love and support….just focus on those tail wags and furry kisses!

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Debbie. You were an extraordinary “fur parent.” Yes, she’s getting better everyday and they are so worth it. It’s just stressful at the time, and sometimes we let that get in the way. I hope there’s another fur ball in your future. Take care!

  6. What a beautiful story of such unconditional love for your precious girl. We hear of how dogs give unconditional love and yet your story is one that many can relate to where you are able to give that back.

    Such lovely photos also. LOVE them. Hope she is recovering well.

    And yes, I too catch myself at times and remind myself that I am creating a story about something I don’t know enough about. I think we all do from time to time. SO glad to hear you were able to pull yourself back to the present and enjoy ‘the moment’.

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