Saturday, December 31, 2005


The Year My Dog Got Me Out of the House

2005 was a year of challenges for me--both physically and mentally. I thought some of these cycles would never end! Now that I look back I realize that some good came from them.

One period stands out in my mind. In the first months of the year, I was faced with the fact that my dog was getting older. Before the new year, she had become violently ill for a 48 hour period. After several tests the conclusion was "we don't know". She got better, but then went through a bout with diarrhea. And, to top it off, she began having urinary problems. Medication solved the later problem. But, the digestive disorders meant only one thing--a change in diet. Her favorite special treats were taken away and she got no more people food (though she never got alot).

I felt so sorry for her! I had to do something to make it up to her. My father took her for 4 walks a week. As I was supposed to walk each day to keep my body moving, I started taking her for a short walk at lunch time. When the weather improved around June, I added another walk after dinner. My mobility problems didn't lend themselves to long walks, but on a good day I could do 10 minutes at a time. On a bad day, we went the length of the street and back.

At first I dreaded these walks. I went whether I felt good or not. Now I look forward to them and so does Sierra. I get some fresh air and Sierra gets to smell every leaf and twig along the way. Did you know that I had friendly neighbors??? I had spent so much time trapped in my house with arthritis that I'd forgotten.

It's good to get outside even for 10 minutes at a time, say hello to a neighbor, see the blue sky, and feel the sun on my face. I guess I can thank Sierra for getting me outside the house and back into my neighborhood.

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