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Pacing. Back and forth. That’s what I did before sitting down to write this column. It’s what I do before and after pretty much anything that’s ever set me on edge or upset me. It’s something that I believe is engrained in my DNA. I can remember my mom talking about my father’s dad doing it when he was worried and the subsequent worn out spots in the carpet in my grandfather’s home from all of that walking. My pacing this evening comes after an abrupt shift in my day. After a wonderful day of work, full of sharing, creating and making the world what I believe is a better place, I started getting text from home from my boyfriend. “The dog seems to be sick,” read his first text message. “She threw up on the couch and in the floor…” Believing the pooch probably had just eaten something gross from the yard—yes, she has been known to do that -- I shrugged off his text. She would be fine. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The sick canine, who you may remember as Gacy Lou, a reformed demon dog who we rescued over a year ago that has to be medicated because of some anxiety issues, was going downhill fast. I’ll spare you the details, but things were nasty. We made the decision to take her to the vet. The waiting room was packed, our sick and shaking dog was having more gastrointestinal problems and I was barely holding myself together, since this was the same office where I had lost the first dog I ever took care of from kidney failure. And then fate brought a few kind people into the room. “You sound just like me,” said one woman sitting near me. “I care so much about my dogs and it breaks my heart every time they’re sick.” “Yeah, I don’t know what I would do without my dog,” said another patron. “She’s a good girl that’s been having some stomach issues, too, but we’re here to hopefully get her better.” The conversation about dogs past and present was a comfort while we waited. I don’t know their names and I may never see their faces again, but I thank those folks in that small waiting room for their kind words. Their compassion—as well as the news that Gacy Lou would more than likely be home before the weekend-- helped me pace a little less this evening.