Skip to content

Courage with a Service Dog

snail hunting at the parkA week ago a friend and I went snail and moss hunting. I didn't find a single snail but I did get great moss. There was moss down by the water but I didn't want to risk my life going where the best of it was so we just ohh and aaahed on shore.

The park closest to me has seen Sir Clyde and my face daily since he's been here. I feel more secure leaving the house with a dog at my side. I walked to the park when I didn't have a dog but it wasn't as relaxing. I had to force myself to go but that's not the case with a dog.

I've talked to Dr. D and to my old medical doctor about getting a dog for at least a year but a lot had to happen before I could do it. I had to know I could go up and down those stairs to take him out. I had to know I wouldn't be in the ER several times a month or be bed-bound like before. I needed to know I'd have the physical ability to care for him. I do. I'll be working my butt off putting dolls and paintings in my shop to pay for his day to day needs. 

Part of me is hesitant to trust that this is long term with him, until he passes away. I don't trust that he's mine, that he gets to stay. It's like someone will come along and take him from me and I'll be mad at myself for allowing myself to get attached. I figure that has to do with losing Mary Jane and the grief with that, but I have to acknowledge the other losses, my mother and brother. That's a lot of death in such a short period of time. Part of me fears getting close because I don't want my heart broken.

Yesterday when I walked with Clyde to the park something interesting happened. An alter I've not seen around walked with him. She was a little nervous but I think it had to do with her being outside in the open. Ariel Michelle is about 12 to 15 years old, a nervous kid, loner but friendly when she speaks to Dr. D. She draws a bit, mostly she worries what might happen to us. She worries we'll go crazy. She worries the mother will come here. She worries and she struggles with thoughts of self harm. Walking beside the dog is a good sign because it may give her more confidence to be out and about. She could then see that we are relatively safe like other adults.

snail hunting at the parkThere's a lot a dog brings besides assisting with compression therapy. The dog brings courage to us, courage to be out in public more often, longer and further away from home. I remember when I first got Captain, I felt like I'd been given a life, a license to get out and do things. I didn't feel trapped by my fears because there was always a dog beside me whose soft ears I could pet and who I could focus on instead of my anxiety. In the short period of time Clyde has been here I've seen my courage to leave home increase. I hope this continues.

The frogs are still doing well and so are the fish. I don't think I'm getting a land snail any time soon. I hope to get one before the next group of kids get here mid Spring through Summer.

fma

No need to feel nervous, comment if you'd like.

%d bloggers like this: