Many lifetimes ago I was a 911 dispatcher as in – “911 where is your emergency?” or “Copy, 2 at gun point cover is code 3” yep that was me! When you are a dispatcher you are taught to be like a duck; calm, cool, and collected on top of the water and paddling like hell underneath. The greatest compliment you can get is when an officer comes in from a pursuit or highly dangerous situation and says how calm you were. Thats our job, to be the calm in the storm weather you are talking to a citizen or an officer. It is a hard job and while I certainly wasn’t the best dispatcher in the room I was always in control of my emotions. On the two occasions I can remember when I wasn’t or was close to loosing it I still held it together long enough to get through the call or off the radio. It was my thing =) Added to that, by nature, I am just not much of a crier. There is nothing wrong with a good cry (and I have had a few) I just don’t. I am what you would call a “weller” you know the people that well up with tears from time to time but that is it? Well that is me.
(I will admit though that books and movies make me cry more than anything. One night I rented and watched Shindler’s List and Philadelpha in the same night. The rental guy asked me if I was sure I wanted to watch them both at the same time… boy he called that.)
So today “Ms. I am in charge of my emotions at all times” walked across the plaza, hopped on an elevator and was immediately quizzed about “aren’t you the girl with the dog? Yes. Where is the dog? In my office. You still have the same one right? Yes, her name is Lacinda. Oh that’s right, someone told me you are giving her away soon.” This is where it starts to get dicey. I am not exactly giving her away, I am giving her back; and it isn’t like I want to give her back. “Yes, her training with me is done and it is time for her to go back to CCI for advanced training. Wow, that must be hard don’t you love her?” At this point I can here a good friend of mine saying “things you want to say vs things you do say.” At that exact moment the elevator opens and I jump off, and she follows me. That is when I realize we are going to the same meeting. That is also when I realize I am starting to well.
I do next what I always do when I well up I pretend I am doing a police radio broadcast in my head. Really, and in case your wondering it goes something like this.
“attention all units, outside agencies Bravo-10, 11, and 12 to respond SAM1 to copy, SacPD is responding on a silent 211 alarm at the North Bank 1234 Main Street. Repeating SacPD is responding on a silent 211 1234 Main Street 1739hrs KMA907 clear”
There is some deep breathing too, but basically I just focus on that until I am in control. Thankfully I was just a guest at the meeting and only had to hang in for 15 minutes and was able to escape. I pick up Lacinda from my office where she was happily napping the day away, and head for the park for some play time.
There it is, more than when I did the paperwork, more than when I put it on the calendar, turn-in is only 19 days away. I know that this is way harder on me than on her. She chased the ball around, practiced some commands, ate some treats, and finally curled up in my lap. Good thing she was there to lick up my tears because I while I would never leave my office with out a poop bag, darn if I could remember a tissue.