I came across this poem the other day and it brought back so many memories. My family was privileged to have Natasha in our lives for 9 wonderful years. Like my adorable little Happy, she slept on a pillow in the corner of my room and followed me wherever I went. She was a wonderful friend and faithful companion. More than once my special pup had found a way to alert my parents to the fact that I was in need of medical care. One time she spent over an hour going from the front window over to my Father, then over to me to smell my breath, before heading back to the window. When my Father figured out that she was trying to tell us that something was seriously wrong and called 911, I had to be rushed to the nearest hospital because my blood pressure and pulse were both over 200. Or the time she cried mum with such pathos that I knew my Mother needed to go to the ER, and ended up spending a week in the hospital because she had water building in her lungs
There is so much more that I would love to say about my special dog. How she loved to sneak bones out of the box when we were gone. Not so she could eat them, but so she could hide them in the sofa, chairs, or even our made beds so we could find them and play a game of chase with her when we returned. How like Happy, she found joy in startling my mother. Of the time she gave us a fright when she found my plate of chocolate chip cookies and ate every last one when no one was looking, the way she hated riding past run down homes, and the proud smile on her face when we finally moved into our dream home.
Last week I wrote about how the ants had infiltrated my garden box and infested it to the point that my family and I had to take down one of our man made garden boxes because there were so many and they were causing my little dog Happy Go Lucky problems. He was getting so many bites that he was experiencing reactions to them that left him miserable.
To add to Happy’s misery, it seems that Happy is in the process of developing arthritis. We noticed that over the past few weeks he has been having more and more trouble jumping up unto and down from the sofa to enjoy his favorite past time of sitting on our laps. A couple of weeks ago the discomfort got to bad that he could not even lay comfortably in his bed, but would slowly hobble around the house in circles with his head hanging low vainly trying to find a way to get comfortable. And he was in so much pain that we had to carry him to and from the backyard. When we took Happy to the vet he noticed that Happy flinched when his back legs were moved and told us that he probably developing arthritis.
Probably because the greater concern was Happy’s upset stomach that was keeping him from eating, we left the office only with a medication to calm his upset stomach. But while he might be in the early stages and not yet in need of a strong pain med, it was clear that he was in enough pain to impact his choice of activities.
We were worried and wanted to be able to help alleviate Happy’s pain. But how? Not knowing what else to do I took to the internet to find some natural remedies to help my little Happy pup. And I came across several articles recommending the use of a heating pad. After consulting with my parents we decided to give it a try and pulled out their old electric blanket. Within moments Happy, who had reached the point that he was reluctant to sit for more than a moment on our laps, had settled down and fallen asleep. By the end of the first treatment he was limping short distances in the backyard and within a couple of days to our relief he was back to his bouncy, eagerly barking self.
Now every morning Happy jumps onto my lap to enjoy his time under the heating pad. And if I should forget he lifts up his head and gives me a funny little stare until I remember and pull out the blanket. Then he stretches himself out and takes a short nap.
While I am so glad that this treatment is working for my little Happy, I find it so funny how we are so ready to do things for our four footed family members that we never would think to do or would make time to do for ourselves. As I sit here typing I am lying in a half curled ball on the sofa leaning on a pillow and the arm of my sofa for support because I am in pain. Yet until this moment it had not even occurred to me to pull out the old heating pad to see if it would relieve my own increasing pain.
It’s an amazing thing, if we are the ones in pain we find it so easy to brush it off and determine that it can wait for a more convenient time to be dealt with. Stopping to deal with it only if the pain becomes so unmanageable that we cannot move. But let one of our four footed friends show the least sign of discomfort and the world comes to a halt as we hover over our little friends frantically trying to find a way to bring their suffering to an end. It just shows you what the power of love and a pair of heart melting eyes can do.