I read another excellent book: Until Tuesday : a Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalván. I think I probably requested it because it was about a dog, but it turned out to be about so much more. Nonfiction, it is about the author's Army tours in Iraq, his multiple injuries, his treatment by the VA hospital system during the Bush administration, his PTSD, and how his service dog saved him. Montalván's worldview and personality is so totally different from mine, but his eloquence and sincerity helped me understand how someone can be proud to be a soldier.
And, of course, there is the dog. Tuesday is the beautiful golden retriever who daily saved Montalván from the effects of his PTSD.
From the book:
"The defining state of PTSD is not fear. That's a complete misunderstanding. The defingin state of PTSD is hypervigilance. Psychologists describe it as the flight-or-fight syndrome because PTSD is essentially the superarounsed state normal people enter when thay are suddenly in danger, the one whre the blood rushes to your head, your muscles coil, and your breathing slows. You are in survival mode, ready to fight or flee for your lifte. For ordinary people it only lasts a few seconds, but for combat-scarred veterans like me, hyperarounsal was a near-permanent state.
"...I felt exactly the same way. Most people walked down the street oblivious to the world around them. I could see it in their eyes, and I was both jealous of the mindless sense of security and appalled by the carelessness. I analyzed everybody I passed, watching the expression on their faces, their body language, the way they held their hands. I took note of the way they dressed and the places they looked. If a person glanced at me twice, I locked onto them as a potential threat, and I remembered that not just for a the five minutes but for days and weeks as well...
"...Most veterans like me don't suddenly think we're in combat or have visual flashbacks like movie scenes. I experienced the feeling of being there: the adrenaline the hyperarousal, the awareness of imminent danger. My mind jumped at every movement in an upstairs window, calculating the probabilities, while my eyes scanned doorways, parked cars, and garbage bins. Especially garbage bins. They were always overflowing with bottles and wrappers, the perfect place for an improvised bomb."
I highly recommend this book.
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Younger Son was here this weekend. He and Smokey worked on Da Yeep on Saturday; it is possible that we may be able to plow the driveway. ::cheers!::
On Sunday Smokey and Kiera The Teenage Helper worked on sorting and packing model trains, so YS didn't have much to do. All on his own he decided to straight the mess that is the entryway.
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We like to give the dogs bones to chew on. One bone each, and they are good for hours days. On Friday Smokey decided to pick up the bones that were scattered around the living and dining rooms.