The term “miraculous recovery” and “Miracle Man” should not be tossed around lightly. Even though it’s usually cats that are thought to have nine lives, dogs often stage a miraculous recovery from a health crisis and use up one of their lives! In Miracle Man: 100 Days with Oliver, we do indeed bear witness to a truly miraculous recovery. Our fourteen-year-old dog, almost totally blind from advanced cataracts, suffers partial paralysis from a fall and enters intensive care when a potentially lethal lung disease compounds his medical problems.
In the first few days after his accident, I heard that dreaded warning from our vets to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. With our boy hooked up to life support systems in an oxygen chamber in intensive care, we needed a miraculous recovery if Oliver was to survive this ordeal. But I knew from my years as a wildlife photographer that animals often call upon life-sustaining resources at a time of crisis that are the raw material for a genuinely miraculous recovery.
Oliver’s predicament was compounded by his age and his blindness and his haywire immune system. In his case, his miraculous recovery not only allowed him to emerge from intensive care with his lung disease in retreat, but also propelled him down the road of dealing with his partial paralysis. Even his vets, who had witnessed their fair share of animals who have staged a miraculous recovery, were left shaking their heads at a loss for words.
I joined Oliver on his road to miraculous recovery and, in so doing, learned a great deal about facing adversity, handling the potential loss of a loved one, and other life lessons. In many ways, as his best friend, I was the main beneficiary of Oliver’s miraculous recovery.