Two Innocent Canines

This week we mourn the passing of Robin Williams, who shared his extraordinary gift of humor with the world for many, many years in spite of his battle with depression. He taught us that laughter can be our best medicine.

Two Innocent Canines

by Peer Advisor Sue Wiygul Martin, herself a suicide attempt survivor

Sue Wiygul Martin

For two years we got to live in a house on Frenchmans Bay in Maine. The house was nothing special but the location was magical. The sun and moon rose across the bay. To the right were Mount Desert Island and the mountains of Acadia National Park. And the water of the bay, always there, just out the door.

This actually has almost nothing to do with this story but it was such a cool place to live and it’s where this took place. One Easter, for reasons lost in time, I went to Alabama to visit family while my husband Jim went to Michigan to do the same. I came home first. On the way home from the airport I asked my friend to stop at the local grocer. One of my favorite movies of all time, “Driving Miss Daisy”, was to be broadcast that evening and I decided to make an occasion of it.

Planning the Perfect Dinner

I had the butcher cut me an eight ounce filet mignon, purchased the perfect sized Yukon Gold potato, and a bottle of wine. I should note that this happened yonks ago, well before the era of today, with its myriad of options for TV and movies on demand. Yeah, I’m really old.

Dogs and I Arrive Home

We picked up our pet dog, Iris, at the kennel and headed home. Once I got Iris and my dog guide, Quoddy, all fed, emptied, and happy, I started on dinner. I had everything planned to be done right before the movie began. The TV was in our bedroom which was pretty small. So small, in fact, that all it contained was the bed and the table upon which sat the TV. It also had a window seat which looked out on the bay. We sat in that window seat during Hurricane Bob and watched twenty-five foot waves slam onto the shore. But I digress.

Baked Potato, Filet Mignon, Wine, What Could be Better?

When the potato was done I removed it from the oven, opened it up and deposited a huge chunk of butter, real butter, and closed it up so the butter would melt while I cooked the steak. When everything was done I put the plate on a tray, poured a glass of wine and headed upstairs. Both dogs followed me up and settled in their respective beds on either side of our bed. I turned on the television and tuned it to the correct station. Then I settled on the bed, leaning on a pillow against the headboard, with the glass of wine on the headboard just over my right shoulder. I spread my napkin and prepared to dine just as the movie began.

Whoops I Forgot the Salt

Oh wait, I forgot the salt. Totally, completely focused on my lovely meal and favorite movie, I placed the tray on the bed and dashed downstairs to get the salt shaker.

Finally Ready to Eat

Racing back up the stairs, I settled myself on the bed again and placed the tray across my lap. Salting the potato and steak, I picked up my knife and fork, focused my attention on the movie, which was just beginning, and congratulated myself on making such a special occasion of the evening.

Aiming at the part of the plate where the steak awaited, my knife and fork both hit the plate instead of the steak. Was my aim off? I tried again. Nothing. There was the potato but where had the steak gone?

Innocence Wins

Iris, on her bed to the left blinked up at me innocently. Quoddy, on her bed to the right did the same. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.

Note: Sue has also written a book about her recovery and has recently been interviewed about her story.