Nobody freak out. I haven’t reached for the whiskey bottle. There isn’t even a whiskey bottle in my house I could reach for because I much prefer vodka.
Whiskey is my neighbor’s dog, who is a mix between a Lab and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Though he puts out vibes of being Mr. Guard Dog, he revealed a side of himself last week when I was visiting with the aforementioned neighbor that made me want to take him home. Turns out he has a soft spot in his heart for people who don’t feel well. Normally, his owner says, he will not lay at people’s feet or allow anyone to rest a foot on him. But if you’re not feeling well, he forfeits those rules and allows almost anything.
I witnessed this firsthand when he positioned himself at my feet in a way that nearly commanded I rest my foot on him and scratch his back with the sole of my shoe. And when I repositioned myself because my leg was bothering me, he continued to stay by my side the entire visit.
For a little more than an hour, he was a woman’s best friend. In no time at all, I figured out what kind of scratches he preferred, and when I stopped, he’d raise his paw in request for more. And then there was his sweet face (insert twitterpated emoticon here). His expressions conveyed nothing less than deep seated, genuine compassion, and if there’s one thing that makes my heart melt, it’s compassion. That compassion can come from an earthworm, I don’t care. I will still melt and turn to goo.
I need a Whiskey. A best friend who doesn’t have to go to work, who will accompany me on a walk, comfort and stabilize me when I’m dizzy, and is there for me in public places when my blood pressure plummets and I feel like everything is going to go black at any second. Sometimes Shaun is with me. Sometimes not. And it would be comforting to have a canine who can not only sense when those episodes are about to happen, but also be trained in calling 911 in case the lights ever go completely out. I also hear some dogs are trained to fetch their owners’ human companion if the owner and human companion get separated and the owner needs her human for assistance. This has happened to me, and while an iPhone is a lovely tool, contacting your human via iPhone only works if your human is attentive to it, hardy har.
For the times that I don’t feel faint, but do feel dizzy, I’d love to have a fur ball to hang on to, to pet, to distract me from my discomfort. Then there are the days I am in a lot of pain or digestive distress, and it would be the bees knees to have a buddy who can sympathize but won’t ask a lot of questions.
I loathe questions when I’m sick.
Just hush, and gently place a paw on me.
According to my research, service dogs are expensive. There are charity organizations who will train and assign dogs to those with disabilities, but recipients must meet a certain criteria. Unfortunately, that criteria is, as far as I can tell, having a well-known disease like Parkinsons, MS, muscular dystrophy, or quadriplegia.
Me? I have a gastroparesis (gastro-what!?), an autonomic nervous system that can’t seem to consistently do what it’s called to do, heart issues, yada yada and etcetera. Technically, I qualify for disability as far as my physical issues are concerned, because I get partially fed through IV’s and can’t work. But since I have a husband who works and provides for me, I can’t actually draw money. So it’s not a question of whether I’m truly disabled. Rather, it’s a question of whether the dog trainers/charitable organizations recognize that I’m disabled, since I have odd ball diseases and don’t draw from the government.
Are you stressed out yet? Because I’m stressed out just writing about this. Maybe I need some real whiskey after all. Liquor stores deliver, right?
In other news, my folate and vitamin D levels are normal for the first time in nearly twenty years. I’m going to be getting iron infusions soon, which will cure my anemia. And my new big wig GI doc is spot on with his desired treatment plan for me. For the first time in almost two decades, I feel like I’m getting somewhere with treatment. GI Doc has made it clear that there still isn’t a cure for my stomach condition, but he is a Godsend. He’s approachable, reasonable, and logical in his treatment plans. The feeding tube or port for TPN are still options, but we want to try a few other things first, and I’m all about that. J-tube feedings are last ditch attempts to get me a well rounded, calorie sufficient, steady diet. I know many people would say nearly twenty years of not being able to eat much qualifies as needing a “last ditch attempt to provide nutrients.” And besides, I’m getting IV fed once a week anyway. What’s a little more? But until I have peace about going full blown tube fed, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on.
Anyway. Unfortunately, I think my neighbor is a smidgen partial to Whiskey. So if you could pray for a canine miracle, I’d be grateful. I want a 24/7 companion. Maybe I need a 24/7 companion. I can’t tell. God knows the desires of my heart, and my needs. So my plan is to keep delighting myself in Him, and if my desires are sidewonkle and ungodly, I trust Him to withhold what I think I want. I mean need. I mean want. I mean want to need.
Jesus, take the wheel.
Please excuse me now, while I go read an old book about a blind boy and his guide dog, entitled Follow My Leader, because fueling my doggie desires and making myself miserable is just … fun.
Until next time … toodle-oo.