We had a major upset last night.

While we were eating dinner, our dog Fiona got hold of one of my wife’s cabled knitting needles. By the time we discovered it she had done quite a bit of damage to said needle, including having chewed the cable up into little pieces. My wife gathered up all the pieces she could find and couldn’t account for what she estimated to be about 4" of cable.

Uh-oh… this was a worry worthy situation. One of my wife’s worst fears is that one of our dogs would ingest something that causes a bowl obstruction. A doggie life threatening situation.

Now, we have had doggie companions from the beginning of our relationship a couple of decades ago. As the man says in the Farmer’s Insurance commercials, “we’ve seen a thing or two.” Like the time one of our dogs got into the pill stash of a friend that was staying with us and downed a bunch of anti-depressants. Or the time when another of our dogs became paralyzed in her hind quarters for no apparent reason. Both situations required mad dashes to animal emergency hospitals. Both turned out well in the end. And through both, we managed to keep our heads about us quite well in spite of our worry.

That’s why it was so surprising (in retrospect) that we both proceeded to have complete meltdowns. Me, who’s major super power is the ability to keep a clear head in the most difficult situations, erupting into a fit of rage at my wife for leaving the cabled needle where the dog could get it. She, in ex-ICU nurse fashion assuming the worst and, in non ex-ICU nurse fashion, having a near panic attack about it. Me, completely unable to deal with my wife’s near panic attack. Fiona, sweet dog that she is, wondering what all the fuss was about.

I eventually escaped with the dogs to bed. My wife stayed up and stewed about things. I have no idea when she came to bed.

When we talked this morning we both realized that we had been overwhelmed by the situation in a way that was new and unexpected. We realized that, as well as we think we have been coping with the pandemic and its knock on effects, the horrid Political situation and winter, we aren’t.

Neither one of us has much coping reserve left.

It’s almost 24 hours later. So far, Fiona is just fine. In another 24 hours we can probably stop worrying at all.

As for us? We’ve started to strategize on how to recharge our empty coping reserves.