Mutts, Hounds, Flea Bags, The Girls, Sissy & PP, Minion 1 & 2, The Kentucky Wallflower & The Tennessee Wildchild. They go by many names and have very different personalities, but they have been a godsend in the nuclear aftermath of myelopathy. Meet two of my biggest fans…my rescued mutts. I’ll admit I never paid too much attention to how much dogs really do love you unconditionally, at least not during the hustle and bustle of everyday life pre-myelopathy. Once I was at home on disability, their heightened senses could pick up my depression even on days where there would be no tears, or the constant physical pain that tests my sanity, to which their untrained response was to lean it and give me a kiss or a nudge just to let me know that I was not alone. I doubt they will never know how much the support they’ve given me on a primitive level despite the difference in species. I can still remember 3 months post op when we added Lily (bloodhound mix seated on the left) to the pack. She wasn’t even on the short list when we were looking to add another dog to help Shelby (Australian cattle dog mix seated to right) with losing 12 year Matilda 6 weeks earlier to cancer. But a 4 month old Lily demanded to be seen and barreled out at full speed, plopped in my lap, gave me a kiss and then proceeded to play with Shelby. Out of 4-5 dogs she was the only one Shelby wanted anything to do with. This just added to my belief that we don’t really choose our pets, they choose us. They also don’t have to ask us how we feel because they know. I still can remember a timid Shelby sitting with my late uncle as he came home from chemo battled cancer. She refused to leave his side, and they were a comfort to each other.
If I’ve learned anything in then last couple of years, it’s that love is a universal emotion that can cross limitless boundaries including language barriers, time & space and even in death, love can still be given and received if you look in the right places. Now that’s a very reassuring thought, especially when no one wants to walk this world alone.