Something everyone takes for granted, breathing, until you can’t. Then it gets pretty important. On the prairie you can breathe, so much space, so much clean fresh air. The only time it’s not perfect is when I’m following the dust of cows or when the wind carries the smoke from forrest fires in BC to us, here.It’s something I never take for granted, breathing, that is.

When I was 7 I had whooping cough. I spent 2 months in bed often not being able to breathe. I had an old collie dog who laid by my bed day and night (can’t now imagine how a collie could stand to do that) in the back bedroom where they put me for the quiet there. I would get a coughing fit and panic because I couldn’t get any air. He would run into the other room and get someone to come help me. The only thing that worked was to hit me on my back quite hard and it seemed to jar something loose so I could breathe again. I remember twice coughing so hard I filled a basin full of blood form the nosebleed it caused, before they could get it to quit.

Butch, my collie, . . .  what can I say. To a little 7 year old girl, it felt like he saved my life, everyday, many times a day. That’s him and  a much healthier me a few years later in the picture in the side bar. Oh, to pat his old head again. . . my fingers remember exactly how it will feel.




8 responses to “Breathing

  1. yikes having Whooping Cough would be extremely scary!

  2. Oh, you made me cry a little…some dogs are just so special, aren’t they? And I can still feel my sheltie’s fur, how it felt to run my fingers through her soft coat….

  3. Ok I am going to cry now.

    Ok I’m back. If there is anything that tears me up it’s a dog story. They can be so loyal and loving.

    My husband had whooping cough when he was a child too. He said he’ll never forget how hard he coughed. Said it felt like he was going to cough up a lung. He now has mild asthma and sometimes wheezes. I think whooping cough has made a resurgence. That and polio. They are really pushing the vacinations here.

    You should carry a disposal N95 mask in your pocket , or up inside your hat so you don’t breathe in anymore particulates.~Ames

  4. The greatest memories from childhood are of the four legged kind; so glad there was Butch for you…That must have been scary to not be able to draw in a breath, and to be sick for so long… Now theres vaccines for whooping cough-but back then its amazing we all even survived…so glad you lived to tell the tale and to remind the next generations of the way it use to be!

    Heres a four- legged memory of mine ~ when I was born, so was a litter of puppies in the same month in our household; my mom and Freida, our family German Shepard, were moms again. Theres pictures of me as a little babber with Freida’s little puppies climbing all over me and yes, I grew up with Freida always watching my backside 🙂 she was a terrific second “mom” though 😀

    And yes, I was the youngest, cant you tell? I have about 7 baby photos total of me and three of them are with those darn puppies lol

  5. *hugs*
    A lot of people caught whooping cough back then. I remember being sick a lot, but I don’t remember if I had whooping cough. I think one of us did, but I don’t remember who. My memory is terrible.
    It’s great you had a good dog to keep you company.

  6. I too had whooping cough, I think I was 4 or 5 at the time. It brought on Rheumatic Fever, and a heart murmur. My mom had to make an oxegyn tent for me, and I can still remember the gray wool blanket I was covered with that had a glue stain on it.

  7. Dang! you got me crying! What a wonderful old fellow he was!And I am so glad you had the love of such a good dog to ofset the terrible fear you must have felt!Yet another good reminder that God gives us just what we need ,when we need it

  8. I can’t imagine Whooping Cough. I had Asthma growing up so only understand restricted airways, not complete blockage. I’m grateful you have your four-legged angels/friends both then and now. I’d imagine they see you as an angel/friend too. 🙂

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