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Meeting at Eye Level

Paigey, our beautiful five-year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, couldn’t stop panting. Her tongue had turned blue, indicating lack of oxygen. It was time to take her to specialists to determine the reason for her restricted breathing and limited oxygen supply.



The nurse put us into a room to wait for the heart specialist. Paige and I were both nervous, and I talked softly, stroking her in an attempt to reassure her. Then Dr. Burtch entered the room, introduced herself, and … sat down on the floor! She began asking questions. What were we doing immediately before Paige’s distress began? What had I noticed before Paige began having difficulty? Any changes in her mood or activity level? And she listened, really listened, to my answers.

As the vet spoke, she reached out to Paigey, inviting her to come closer.

After about three minutes I blurted, “I like you.”

She looked up, surprised.

“I like that you got down on the floor, on her level.”

What a difference it makes when someone meets us where we are, whether that’s on the floor, or in tears, or in pain. One of my bridesmaids had an auto accident five weeks before my wedding. She had a hard time breathing with three broken ribs, which were pushing into her lungs. She also broke her clavicle and two places in her collarbone. A stranger came to her car and asked how he could help. She asked him to hold her hand. That connection, his meeting her where she was, helped her hold on until more help arrived.

When have you experienced someone meeting you where you were in the midst of your need? How did that minister to you? I’d love to hear about it.

PS Paigey is on medication and on a diet to reduce the 30% tracheal collapse she had. She is improving already. And my friend Lois stood up through our entire wedding and is doing well!


  1. Charise says:

    I’m glad Paigey is healing and you found a great doctor.

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