Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Going to the Dogs
It seems almost everyone in America, from the president-elect's family on down, has realized the joy and comfort to be found in the unconditional love of a four-legged friend. This speaks of our times and our need for healing, non-judgmental company. Reaching for a faithful companion speaks also of our dreams and the inner child we carry forever. To this child, a dog speaks of both adventure and protection.
So our family started talking about a dog for my daughter, Anna, and a benevolent universe heard...in detail. Anna's wish was for a female lab/sheperd mix for both strength and intelligence. Just a few weeks later, her IV nurse told us about a female pup for adoption whose mother was a black lab and father was a black sheperd! Oh yes, and they lived only a few minutes away from us. Have I mentioned how much I love a benevolent universe?
Now Rani (Hindi for female royalty) is my daughter's companion and we hope to train her properly as a service dog. As with any new baby in the house, our days have been revolving around getting her settled into Anna's routine of when to be up and when to rest. Thankfully puppies need lots of rest!
Puppies also need good walks every day and that's where I come in. Anna can take small, slow walks but her chronic Lyme disease prohibits the length of exercise a strong pup like Rani needs. The pay-off is...so far I've lost seven pounds! Yes, my joints and back are screaming, but I figure it's the pain before the gain...or bionic replacement parts. Here, let me sing the praises of Cho Pat Straps. Google them if your knees are what keep you from walking.
I know dogs aren't everyone's cuppa tea and, in these tough times, more mouths to feed and more medical maintenance costs can be a strain indeed...but these are the times to reach for friends and family. After a difficult year, the smile on my daughter's face assures me we made the right decision to let ourselves "go to the dogs!"