No more chasing critters for Heathcliff

by | Sep 17, 2018 | Dogs & Other Creatures, Faith, Nature | 5 comments |

I heard a bark outside the basement door—Heathcliff returning from his evening stroll. As our dog hobbled across the man cave floor, my husband Keith said, “Oh, Heathcliff, what have you done to yourself?”

The hero of my recent Brevity blog post was a three-legged dog—again.

Three years ago, he ruptured his left cranial cruciate ligament, an injury analogous to an ACL injury in humans and common in large, slim-hipped dogs like Heathcliff. This time, it was his right leg, also common, injuring the other after the first. Our vet took x-rays, diagnosed a soft-tissue injury, and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and rehab walking.

And no more running, because Heathcliff can’t contain his enthusiasm for chasing critters.


Last Thursday evening, I came down with a cold and was home all weekend and am home today—we’ll see about tomorrow. It’s the headachy, stuffed up, mouth-breathing, body-aching type, and I feel very sorry for myself. I’ve talked to God about this situation, I mean, I’ve got critters to chase.

Here’s an answer from one of my morning reflections: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

So maybe no critter-chasing today. I did note, however, that I’m still able to do laundry, feed my family, and walk our dogs while taking care of myself—and writing this post.

Thank you, Lord.


This morning, during a break in the rain, Heathcliff and I took a walk. When he spotted a deer, scurrying into the woods below the meadow, he wagged his muzzle back and forth between the deer and me. And he whined, begging. How hard it was for him to contain himself and not chase after his heart’s desire.

“Nope,” I said. “Sorry, buddy. No more running for you.”

RavineWaterfallSetp2018The moment passed, and we enjoyed a good hobble along the driveway. With all the rain, the mossy trickle down the ravine had morphed into a roaring waterfall, an absolutely glorious sight and sound. When I can’t chase critters, I’m more likely to notice other things.

I’m grateful for what I can do—for all God’s blessings. And I think Heathcliff is, too.

Even though he and I whine a little bit.


  1. Author Ryan Callahan

    I pray both you and Heathcliff get better very soon! God bless you all!

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you so much, Ryan, and God bless you, too!

  2. deyspublishing

    Poor Healthcliff. I hope he’s healing and much better now.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for your comment!
      Heathcliff had knee surgery and is doing well – we’re up to three miles, walking the mountain road.

      LOVE reading your blog! -C.D.

      • deyspublishing

        Youre welcome. And that’s good to hear.
        I appreciate the reads😊



  1. Just because you usually do the dishes doesn’t mean it’s your job | Notes from Vanaprastha - […] of this happened last week. Today, the dogs are much better, though Keith has caught a bit of my…
  2. The Optimist and the Pessimist on The Perennial Gen Site | Notes from Vanaprastha - […] We’re coming down the home stretch, splitting and stacking wood from the tree downed by Hurricane Michael. Our deck…
  3. Walking Nose Up and Nose Down | Notes from Vanaprastha - […] his knee injury in mid-September and surgery in mid-October, Heathcliff and I have been therapy walking. Several slow, short…

Leave a Reply

Meet Carole


Let's Connect

Favorite Subjects