Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Pets

reggie

If you’re not a dog person, then you may want to scroll on by. Or, you could stick around and hope our little talk will help to thaw your cold and frozen heart.

My family did not have pets growing up. Well, except for that cat, “Twinkie”. He was cute, but he had bad manners. He used to try to kill our friends when they came over; pouncing on them, with his claws out, from a dark corner and other silly antics like that. That wasn’t actually very cute. Plus, mom was allergic. So, “Twinkie” didn’t last very long at our house.

I remember at Church Camp my favorite activity was the Mini Farm. We could milk cows, pet lambs, hold kitties. I loved it. I don’t know why it never occurred to me then to ask for a pet. In fact, I never factored a pet into my life’s equation, even as an adult. Pets with their cost, hair and smell just did not seem very practical.

When Eddie was in eighth grade, he missed most of that year of school due to illness. We tried to do eighth grade again the next year, but he missed most of that year as well (oh, let’s not get in to all that again). I had a good friend who kept reminding me that pets were good for healing. Really? Another living being that needs to be fed and given my time, love and attention? I was pretty sure I was tapped out. At that time I thought I actually may be a member of the walking dead. Do you know what the difference is between a zombie and a mother of a chronically ill child? Nothing. So, how is a zombie supposed to care for a pet? Have you thought of that? Sometimes I’m just more of a critical thinker than other people.

Then, one day I was talking to my sister. I was really, really sad. My sister announced that Eddie needed a dog. She said he needed a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, because those dogs are just pure sweetness wrapped in fur. For the first time in 39 years, I thought, “Yes. We do need a dog.” Then I said I’d better ask Scott.

Scott is one of these guys that will make a list of pros and cons before he purchases a pack of gum. The decisions he makes are calculated and well thought out. When I asked him about a dog, he immediately said, “You’re right. Eddie needs a dog.”

So, we got a dog. Our kids tell us that the day we picked Reggie Cubby Patrick Smith (we couldn’t decide on a name) up, was the best day of their lives. And, what the heck was I thinking by not having a dog all those years, anyway??!!! Dogs are proof that it is the simple things in life that make it the most meaningful.

Reggie has more than held up his end of the bargain too. When the only thing Eddie could do was lay on the couch, Reggie’s warm little body could always be found under the blanket, curled up next to him. Reggie was Eddie’s constant companion when Eddie was home alone. Plus, Eddie’s job was to let Reggie out while we were at work and school. At that point, Eddie was not able to participate in any of the things kids his age normally do. Have you noticed that kids need things to do? They need responsibilities and some sort of form or structure to the day. Even though letting Reggie out was a bit of a physical challenge for Eddie at the time, I remember thinking this act was part of what kept Eddie going. Reggie needed him.

It’s been almost three years and the novelty of Reggie and his preciousness (that’s a word, right?) has not worn off. I don’t think it ever will. More good news is that Eddie has learned to channel Reggie. He speaks for Reggie often in a goofy Reggie voice. Now we always know what Reggie’s thinking. Let’s just say that Reggie won’t be getting in to Gifted and Talented Doggy classes anytime soon, but he does loves his people. By “his” people, I mean things that take in oxygen, things that don’t, inanimate objects, cartoons…they’re all his favorite. He also loves to party and have a good time. We love him so much.

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Comments on: "Pets" (2)

  1. Often thought about getting a dog. What a great read!

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