Last night, a poorly-thought-out ad and Facebook's annoying auto-play "feature" combined to throw me into a massive panic attack. I was literally shaking and was so upset I couldn't even cry.
I went down and told Patrick, who hugged me and held me and tried to help. Bless that man. He tries so hard, and has no idea how to calm a panic attack. Not his fault. I don't know, either. Sometimes, his hugs help. Sometimes, I need to brainstorm solutions for whatever causes the panic attack. Sometimes, I need music, or my tree talisman, or cocoa, or a bit of space.
None of that was working last night.
I left Patrick, intending to draw for awhile, since that can be calming. I never even pulled out my drawing supplies.
Instead, I sat down, and Buddy, our dog, put his head in my lap. I wrapped my arms around his adorable and solid shoulders and just sobbed into his fur. I don't know how long I sat there, holding him and crying, but he never moved. He never tried to run away. He just stood there, letting me hold him, knowing that I needed him, and not caring why.
I broke down and didn't worry about what he would think. I didn't worry about seeming weak. Or needy. Or like I needed to explain myself. I knew he didn't care. He just wanted to be near me. And no matter what, I knew he'd still look at me exactly the same when it was over.
Eventually, I ran out of tears. I held Buddy's head in my hands and thanked him. He wagged his tail a little and looked at me with his big brown eyes. There was no pity. No sadness. Just the same adoration a dog always has for the ones who love him.
And then, sensing that his work was done, he wandered off down the hall. Last night, I had the most peaceful night of sleep that I've had in a long time. Because my dog was just there.