As if to remind me of times passed, I woke up today to two little piles of poop by the bed. I didn’t wanna make a thing of it so I just shook my finger disparagingly at Ed and Eddy, said no a lot, cleaned up the mess, and took them out. They seemed to be remorseful plus to be fair I did sleep in until 9:15am so I figure it was my own fault. They are after all just living things with needs like you and me.
Today marks the three monthaversary of the day we brought Ed and Eddy home for good! It is amazing how much they have improved in what has really been such a short time but it is equally as amazing to me what an important part of my family they have become. I feel every bit as close to them as any other dog I’ve had in my life. I couldn’t even imagine my life now without them and in fact it’s hard for me to imagine how I went about my everyday life before I had them on my mind. Sure, it was more carefree. I could spend the night places without planning ahead, I could eat on the couch but I wouldn’t go back for any of it. When they look up at me with those puppy dog eyes I forgive any and all annoyances.
I’ve rambled on in past entries about living with depression or anxiety or even specifically PTSD, and how greatly having a doggy pal (or two) by my side helps me overcome those issues. I would like to get to the heart of the issue here though, when I was thirteen years old I was in a multiple car roll-over on the I-5 North in southern California. This is a six lane freeway. It got closed for the day and I was airlifted out, they took me to a hospital for adults at first because I was without an ID and my face was completely unrecognizable. Eventually though they did figure out who I was and put me in the right place.
I’m including all of this because I want the readers to know that I’m not talking about small-time injuries, it was bad. I was in a coma for two months. Without a doubt the outstanding medical technology and expertise of modern times was vital to my survival, I can say though without a doubt that the love of a canine contributed astronomically to my recovery.
The children’s rehabilitation hospital I ended up at was Healthbridge in the city of Orange, California. It was a great facility under the direction of two amazing woman at the time, Dr. Linsmier and Dr. Garrett. I worked to breaking point every day with the help of many nurses and therapists for months, and even years as an outpatient without a break. One of my favorites of the many many therapies I went through was one that actually wasn’t daily at all, once in a while though they would bring in some appropriately trained animals to meet the kids at Heathbridge. More often than this of course my parents would also bring the family dog, Lizzie, to visit me. She knew from the beginning that I was the same girl who had walked her, fed her, and played with her. She was by my side even when I couldn’t be my best. I remember too that when I finally had the strength to get of that hospital bed and come home she would stick by me ready to protect me. She was a little wary of the walking assisting devices I had to use for years to come once I was out of my wheelchair but she overcame that fear, which is more than I can say for some of the people in my life. Even on my worst, most physically and/or emotionally painful days I knew that Lizzie would be there for me and that definitely gave me the will to carry on.
Another very popular therapy out there is horse riding therapy. I personally never tried this as a regular method but I know people whom are very much a part of it and it is amazing to watch people’s lives be transformed. I think as much as anything else, if not more, getting the ability to connect spiritually to another living being helps the healing process. While people will use politics and money as reason not to show their support, an animal will never do this. As long as you love them they will always look up to you and their unconditional love does give you the courage to overcome.
Getting back to life today, Ed and Eddy do very much help me carry on even now. Of course they are small so they can’t really much help my walking the way Lizzie did but they still do help me a lot. There are many days when I hurt all over and all I want to do is smoke some weed or even maybe gobble some of my prescription pills just so I can fall back asleep, but I can’t do that. Not anymore at least because these dogs depend on me. So I get up and take care of them, and then of course once I’m up life doesn’t look so bleak. They give me the strength of mind to take care of myself and my surroundings, and then they always have time to reward me with their love and cuddles once the day is through.