Thursday when she was the sickest was the most challenging day for me. I really thought that my husband and I were going to have to say goodbye to our sweetie. We’re still not sure of what may happen in the near future as there is another test that we may have done for Roxy, but what I do know is that I am cherishing every moment with her. Thursday I felt like a was in a bit of a time warp, not knowing then if Roxy was going to be around much longer. I was by her side all day attending to whatever she needed.
I started realizing some things that day that I learned from this whole experience.
15 Lessons Learned from Tending to my Sick Dog:
- How grateful I am for beds. I slept on a recliner chair Thursday night because I wanted Roxy to stay downstairs since she had to go to the bathroom so much. I did sleep, except for the few midnight runs her and I made outside. Then the next morning my husband came down and took over. I climbed into my bed and I cannot tell you how good it felt………..I slept solid for 2 hours.
- There totally is enough time in the day to get things done that we want to get done. Even with Roxy sick and being by her side most of the week, I still got some stuff done and in a shorter periods of time. It made me realize how my procrastination really gets in the way of getting things done.
- A shower is complete bliss. Now I know what new mommies feel like when they get to take a shower. I couldn’t leave Roxy for too long for a couple days in a row. When my husband came home from work, I took a shower at night and it was just heaven…..complete bliss!
- The responsibility of owning a pet. I already knew this, but it hit me in a new way this time. Owning a pet is really a big responsibility, in my eyes anyway. Animals have needs and if I cannot give them what they need, then I shouldn’t have any.
- Not to panic. We did find out that Roxy has a mass in her lung. And we thought that she was sick because of this mass. But then her abdominal ultra sound showed that she was totally clear down there…..no lumps……so the vet said that her being sick really can’t be from that mass. She said she probably has a bacterial infection. So Roxy got more fluids and some antibiotics…..she’s been getting better a little at a time every day. We’re hoping this is why she was so sick. But we still may see what that lump in her lung is all about. It’s just amazing how powerful the mind is. When you think something, that’s what you have, even though it isn’t really true. In other words, what you think about you become.
- How precious the bond is. The bond between an animal and it’s owner is really so precious. It’s like no other bond out there. It’s unconditional, at least on the animal’s part and hopefully on the owner’s part too (see #4 above).
- Meaning of life. When challenges like this appear, it really makes me aware of what is really important to me in life. I mean, yes, I love writing blog posts, and creating my newsletter, and sharing with others, but it’s ok if those things don’t get done for a while. However, if I don’t keep in alignment with the really important thing in my life…….then all the rest I do doesn’t matter. But when I keep laser focus on the meaning of life for me, then all else I do is that much juicier, empowering and fruitful.
- Life can turn upside in seconds. One day Roxy is her normal self, the next day she won’t eat. We can’t always be prepared for everything, including every challenge that life offers us, but we can practice awareness, mindfulness and compassion. Practicing these 3 things, has made me more aware of life, and of mySelf – knowing more about mySelf and the triggers that set me off into anxiety, have allowed me more peace amongst chaos. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have anxiety during this challenge with Roxy. I did, but it was at a much lower intensity and I allowed myself to feel every feeling and emotion that surfaced…….instead of suppressing them.
- Self care is critical. If you don’t take care of your Self on a daily basis, you will not be able to ‘show up’ when challenges arise. Self care truly is critical to living a full and radiant life.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. I was so happy to see Roxy’s saliva spots on the floor. I knew she was getting her hunger back. The floor can be cleaned……..I’m not sweating it anymore….I’m smiling when I see them :).
- It’s ok to work from home. After retiring from being a hairstylist and salon owner, it took some adjustment for me to ‘allow myself’ the freedom to work from home. The voices started with their negative comments. Well, I’ve gotten past those voices and am loving the freedom……and now I love it even more because I am able to take care of my dog when she’s not feeling good, and even more, I get to spend every day with her………I’m feeling so grateful right now.
- It’s ok to watch a movie during the day once in a while……and even do some work at the same time. On Friday, after the hell day on Thursday, I had to do something different. I didn’t feel like working in silence nor did I feel like putting music on. So I got one of my favorite movies out and watched it……and I even did some work on my computer at the same time…..and you know what……that’s ok. I also have another blog post brewing about lessons I learned from that movie……….stay tuned for that one!
- The importance of surrendering. When I surrendered to what was happening, not only did I allow myself more space, but I also allowed myself to show up more fully for Roxy, myself, and my husband. Surrendering does not mean ‘giving up’. What it does mean is ‘total acceptance’. It’s not resisting ‘what is’, and being one with whatever is happening in life. To do the opposite is putting more suffering on top ofÂ suffering. I surrendered to what I was feeling and the possibility of what may happen. If I didn’t do that, I would have been in a downward spiral of anxiety, not show up for those who need it, including myself, which would have caused more pain and suffering.
- The love my husband and I have for animals. I love animals – all kinds. My husband and I donate to Companion Canines every month. I also have donated in the past to The Boo Boo Zoo. Both organizations are committed to giving animals a chance in life.
- The impact of animals. It’s amazing to me how I have this 4 legged creature with fur walking around my home. Sometimes I look at Roxy and can’t believe that this sweet, compassionate, spirit is living with me. What a gift. The past 6 years have been so much more of an adventure because of her, and I’m hoping we’ll have a few more……but if not, I would never regret bringing her into our home. I watched the Sunday Morning show this past Sunday and it was all about animals and they showed this quote by Dean Koontz:
“One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they evoke in us.”
I think that sums it all up.