When I was in the hospital, one of the hardest things was the fact that I couldn’t see my dogs. 6 weeks of no dogs was like an added level of torture. My dogs are pampered, to say the least. They’re my little buddies. My constant companions, if you will. So to live without them for so long was awful!
Ever since I’ve been home, they’ve been glued to me. Well, my boy dog more than my girl dog. If my boy dog could permanently attach himself to me, he would. (Even now as I type this my little guy is on my lap. I have the tan fur on black pants to prove it.) He seems to not be comfortable unless he’s sleeping on my lap. This is sweet until you consider that living in a place where the average summer heat is 110 degrees plus, that gets a little toasty. But, I don’t even mind. His little face is so content when he sleeps on my lap that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s funny though, is that before all of this, I never really understood the importance of a service dog. I mean, yes, I know that they can really help people retrieve things or alert to certain medical issues before they occur so the person can prepare. I guess I just never thought about it beyond the obvious. Beyond the superficial outer layers.
But I’ve come to an even deeper understanding. The other night I was having a really hard time sleeping. I couldn’t get comfortable. Then my mind was racing with worries about being in one position too long and the fact that I am scared to death of getting pressure sores, because the treatment of those are awful! And it would require lengthy bed rest. So now I’m super freaked out about them. So there I was trying to get comfortable and tossing and turning. (To fully understand the impact of this let me explain: Say I’m on my right side. I have to turn my body so I am on my back. Then I have to sit up to uncross my legs. I have to take off the sheet which has likely become tangled by this point. Then I lay back down and turn my body to the left. Then I grab my right leg and drag it over to be on top of my left leg. And then I again try to untangle the sheet because somehow in my sleepiness, I always get too wrapped up.) So tossing and turning and getting comfortable is not very easy. And it get frustrating. My girl dog will sometimes put up with a toss, but is gone before the turn. But my boy will put up with it and stay in the same spot. So on this particular night, when I was especially uncomfortable and frustrated, after I rolled and was still not comfortable, he came over and stretched out against my back. It was so comforting and calming that I almost immediately calmed down and fell asleep.
So now I completely understand on a whole new level the importance of service animals. I don’t trust mine to fetch me food as I know it would be eaten in seconds. And I don’t trust them to not bark at birds or other dogs in public. And I’m not going to tote them around in a giant purse in places like the movies. I am lucky in my disability that I don’t need a service animal like that. But I am so glad that I have my little pups in my life to help me in situations when I don’t even realize how badly I need them. That is the amazingly beautiful thing about dogs, whether they’re formally trained or just naturally intuitive.