Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists. Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon given prompts.
Saturday 12th April: Pet Pal
Write a thank you letter to your furry, feathery, or fishy friend for always being there for you. How have they helped you cope with your health condition?
It seems strange writing you this letter, as for you are a dog, and therefore cannot read. But this is a letter of thanks. A letter of thanks to you for your many years of love and loyalty that you have not just shown to me, but to the entire family. A letter to thank you for always being there for me through the good and the bad.
Who knew that when we first got you fourteen years ago from The Dog’s Trust that we would have been on this long and arduous journey together. It is true that even back then, I was ill; suffering from unexplained dizziness and problems with my legs but we had no idea the cause or that it would be long-term.
Even more incredible was the connection that we developed. Do you remember the times when you suddenly started crying? We do, and the times we would try to figure out the reason behind it! And then we noticed the correlation between the crying and the onset of the dizzy spells that I was experiencing – you were warning me when the dizziness was going to start. It wasn’t just this, of course, which solidified our connection, but also the fainting spells that happened a couple of years after you came into our lives. I don’t remember the moments before the attack, however, but I just remember coming to and seeing you standing over my body and licking my face. How clever and loving you are!
Now of course, being diagnosed with a neurological condition which has deteriorated quite significantly since the time we first brought you home with us, a lot has changed. For instance, I am home a lot more as I am too weak and unwell to leave the house unaided, and in addition, because of the weakness in my legs, I can no longer take you for walks either by myself or with Mum.
But what hasn’t changed however, is the love, loyalty and companionship that you show me. The love that you obviously feel for me; the wag of your tail when you see me, how you bark at me when my legs are too weak and not stopping until I am safely sat on the sofa. Often my symptoms are severe, and a lot of those days, both Mum and Dad are at work and therefore home alone, but having your presence with me is comforting. It makes me feel both comforted and protected having you snuggling with me whilst I am lying on our sofa with a blanket, too weak to move. Or when the weakness is so severe and stuck in bed, and you will come upstairs regularly and check on me, or lie next to my bed makes me feel loved and well looked after and managed to raise a smile on a bad day. I feel so guilty on these occasions as I am unable to get up to feed you, and although you do constantly harass me to do so, you never hold it against me that I cannot do so. You still show me a lot of love and affection. And I reciprocate; I even love you coming into bed with me, even if you do somehow take up most of the bed!
You have brought so much joy to our family during the last fourteen years; you make us laugh with your silly antics and especially the cheekiness that you are exhume on an almost daily basis. But most of all I love our cwtches (so cute when you lean against me and tuck your head into my neck) and the kisses that you give when I am feeling at my worst.
I feel so fortunate and grateful that we found you from The Dog’s Trust that September fourteen years ago, although sometimes it feels that you chose us than the other way around. There is an old saying that ‘a rescue dog loves you more’ and I really think that you are the perfect example as I can’t imagine another dog loving and taking care of me they way you have. You will always be a loved member of our family. We certainly will never be able to forget you. Thank you for everything you have done for me, and always being there when I am in need of comfort. I know nothing lasts forever, and you are getting old now, but I still hope that we still have several more years ahead of us together.
Lots of love from your loving owner