For the Love of Dog.

There are few people so understanding, so unconditionally loving, so uncalculated, forgiving, accepting, and such masters of the moment as are dogs. This is why my best friend is not a human, it’s Monty.

The last week has been a rough one for me physically. After the thrill of that post going viral, the prospect of new possibilities, and two anatomy finals, my body finally caught up, and crashed. The night of my last final I crawled onto the couch feeling a little dizzy and a little shaky. I spent the next three days there. I’ve been sleeping 14 hours a night and still waking up exhausted, feeling easily that I could sleep 14 more. Through the roller coaster of emotional highs and physical lows, there has been one constant, and that has been Monty. The day the blog went viral, we danced in the kitchen in a circle. His paws on my hips, I was laughing with excitement, and he was just along for the ride. I remember thinking, ‘He has no idea why suddenly I am dancing and my parents are opening champagne’ and yet he danced anyway. We were happy, so he was happy. If that’s not a lesson for human beings I don’t know what is.

After a couple of days of dancing and laughing came the inevitable crash. Finishing my final on Monday evening, I fell asleep that night at 8 pm. I woke up on Tuesday around 11. I was dizzy, heavy, and weighed down. Monty woke up slowly with me and I took him on our morning walk. Half way around the block I was feeling that inescapable fatigue crawl over me, and I knew all I’d be able to do that day was lay down. I whistled to Monty and we started back home. We’d only walked maybe a block, but it was enough for him to do his business and mark his territory on four different plants. Once inside I ker-plopped onto the couch and he followed. He laid his head on my legs and we slept another few hours. It was like he knew that’d be the extent of our physical activity that day, and he was OK with that. A dogs intuition is nothing short of amazing.

The rest of the week including today, has been a lot of sleeping and not as much fetch and tug-of-war as he deserves. And yet he seems happy. It’s as though whatever the moment throws at us, he embraces. Tired? We sleep. Energized? We play. Hungry? We eat. Happy? We dance. And there is no remembering or holding onto anything, and there is no anxiety or worry about tomorrow. There is just, this. And he does this, so incredibly well.

Sometimes when I lay awake at night thinking about what the answer to life is, this is what pops into my mind: Pupppies! It makes me laugh. But have you ever played with a puppy and not smiled? It’s impossible. Continuing on, even as I write this, Monty is curled up next to me on the couch, quietly breathing. We woke up two hours ago. He isn’t mad that we aren’t going to the park today, even though that was the plan. Sometimes on sick days I just lay petting him, watching his belly go up and down, and I feel at ease. That is what he seems all the time–at ease–and isn’t that how our life should be? When we’re at ease, we are open to good things. Once we tense up, we close ourselves off.

Anyway, I dedicate this to Monty, and best friends everywhere. I often wonder what humans would be like if we were more like our canine counterparts. Not in the sense that we would sniff each others butts, but what life would be like if we became masters of the moment. If we lived without ego. All of us. That sounds like a nice place to be.

I’ll end this with some tribute pictures of Monty..aka The Monster!

Arph and Arph and Arph Arph Arph! (get it? that was monty doing the sign off…you get it..)

lap dog.
kiss for monty.
kiss for me.
throw the ball. throw it!
mm hmm.

 

 

 

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45 thoughts on “For the Love of Dog.

  1. So well said. As a 22 year old who can’t even fathom a life without the painful challenges of constant diagnosis including lupus nephritis, fibromyalgia, and narcolepsy; I find no coincidence in my bursting love for all animals. This post brought tears to my eyes, thinking of all of the dogs, cats, and any other animal who have crossed my path that I had the honor of fostering. They have all saved me more than I them. There’s simply nothing that compares to the unconditional love of an animal; a warm, innocent, and honest soul who has nothing but comfort to give while you, either physically or mentally, can’t get out of bed. I can honestly say there are few things that mean more to me.
    Thank you.

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  2. I love your blog, it makes me smile. I especially like how you keep things real and talk about the good the bad and the inbetween. It is amazing that even though you feel sick you have filled the blogosphere with sunshine and warmth. Most healthy people could never do that! Thank you :)

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  3. Your pup is just so cute! Love the mud pic! Before my guy’s arthritis form too bad, we used to dance too. Id hold one paw, put the other on my waist. Pups… They are so silly… Great post!!

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  4. he’s adorable!! maybe it’s just me, but have you ever wondered if your dog would be hot as a human…??? I always wondered that… even in my 20’s :/ probably since the first time seeing casper the friendly ghost with christina ricci. i swear i’m normal, haha

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  5. Fantastic post. So sorry you had such a rough week….but we can’t give up celebration, right?
    A friend of mine passed your blog on to me a while back as I have been recently (or should I say finally?) diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I like how my computer doesn’t recognize “Fibromyalgia” as a word.
    Heh, anyway…I love your blog, and think you are hilarious…your sense of humor is the best. Wishing you pain free days to come this holiday season.

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  6. Absolutely LOVE this: “but what life would be like if we became masters of the moment. If we lived without ego. All of us. That sounds like a nice place to be.” INCREDIBLE.

    Wanna talk to my cat-owning roommate about why I NEED to get a dog, despite her saying I can’t have one because of the kitties?

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  7. your monty is beautiful!! i have a not-quite-seven-pound poodle who does the same for me…she and i are curled up in the bed waiting for pain meds to kick in as i type.

    listening to my son playing the newest Zelda game in the other room, and being grateful for flannel sheets and a dog who is just as content to lay under them as i am. thank you for sharing the beautiful story and the beautiful pictures of both of you!

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  8. Coincidentally, last week was a particularly rough one for me as well, so I found this post especially timely! Love how you point out that our pets are not only a comfort, but a reminder to accept the day just as it is. Often during a flare up, I focus on what I am not getting done. Next time I’ll try to remember your post and take the day as it comes.

    Thanks for a great post and for sharing so openly! It’s a great help!

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  9. My dog is definitely my best friend too. He doesn’t care that I don’t have a great job or the nicest house or that I sometimes sit around eating peanut butter straight out of the jar.

    I think most love is conditional, but the love a dog for his or her owner is the rare exception.

    I gotta go give my dog a big hug now.

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  10. I am so happy I found your blog. I have fibromyalgia as well but thankfully I am still able to work full time and take care of my two pit bulls (and husband, lol). You inspire me tremendously, not just to live better, but to start blogging again. I hope you have a less painful day today and thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

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  11. I. Love. Dogs. There is just something about the nature of a black lab… having one I don’t think I’ll ever not have one again. And I totally agree with your puppy statement. I think I am happiest when the little suckers are biting on my finger or running around with their floppy legs after an empty water bottle because they love the noise. If only more people treated them with the respect they deserve…

    So I just found your blog the other day and I thoroughly enjoy it… its a great way to procrastinate at work (I’m sure like the majority of us commenting here). So thanks for brightening my day a little!

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  12. Where I live I am not supposed to have dogs even though a lot of people in the complex have them. I, instead have therapy cats. I have 2 of them. One of them weights 28 lbs and is the love of my life. He makes me feel happy and gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning. Even if it’s just to get up and feed him. My other cat weights on around 4 lbs and is so full of energy that I wish I could bottle it and use it when I don’t have any. Dumkupf, the big kitty, is more like me. Big, slow,and doesn’t like things to move to fast. Middy moves at the sound of light. I couldn’t amigin my life with out them. They give me love unconditionally and except what I have to give back. They give me a reason for living during the week when my children aren’t here. My kids love them just as much as I do. When I am having a bad day they are there to pick me up. Middy will get in my lap and sleep there. Dumkupf sleeps on my bed right next to me when I take a nap or when I go to bed. He is so like me in so many ways. I am so happy I have them.

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  13. I feel the same way, only about my cats. Granted, they have dog like qualities as far as being human companions go, its in their breed and that’s exactly why I chose them. There have been days their unfailing devotion and just willingness to love on me in bed as long as it takes brings tears to my eyes and really gets me thru the day. While my husband was deployed and I was having the worst time coping with that and my failing health…..I could always count on a snuggle and a purr. I am an unashamed cat lady for her babies, but it goes deeper than just liking kittens a lot for me, because they have been my best friends as well. I’m going thru a terrible diagnostic time right now, my list of coexisting conditions is hitting the roof, and I am thankful I have a few sites were I can read, laugh and relate on levels that exceed just a funny comic here and there….your blog has done that for me. Thanks for being you, you’re making a difference for people you don’t even know…..

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  14. you are a genius at describing and writing on what truly can relate to us humans. I just love your direct style and how clear and distinct you analyse life and its meaning. I wish I had 1 % of your talent.

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  15. Aww…this sounds more like my cat than my dog though. The dog gets a little irritated when I sleep too much, but my cat stayed in bed with me the whole month that I had mono on top of CFS and could only stay awake 2-3 hours a day. She’s normally a hyper pain in the ass, but she’s absolutely the best with sick people.

    Like

  16. This post reminds me of my sweet boys, Jack and Oscar. I adopted one and rescued the other, but both saved me. They were the loves of my life. I will never forget the lessons they taught me about unconditional love and living for “now.” I am glad you have Monty and that he has you.

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  17. My dog Lola has had surgeries on both knees, so we understand the challenge that is walking when those weights have somehow attached themselves to your legs. When she gets her ‘hyper’ moments, I have two wonderful kitties that smack her back to reality. (they actually run the house; the rest of us are for show, I believe)

    Your blog makes me happy. And its winter in WI. That analogy should say it all.

    Like

  18. In an online support group for Fibromyalgia, we were sharing the top 3 things that help us. While not a “thing,” I put my sweet dog Sasha on my list. Just like your dog, she can sense how the day will be & she goes with the flow. When I am hurting, it’s great to have her cuddle up & warm me, & I can hug her.

    Like

  19. I don’t know how I found your part of the blogosphere, but I’m glad I did. Your personality shines through in your writings and you make me cry and smile in equal measure.

    I should be in bed, but my dog has kicked me out :-)

    Like

  20. My dogs have been my constant companions through my CFS/Fibro journey. They are awesome; don’t know how I’d get by with out them! Monty looks like a darling!

    Like

  21. You just can’t beat the companionship of a Labrador. You put the way I feel about my two dogs in to words. No matter what, they always make things better. I hope you start to feel more energised soon.

    Like

  22. I am one of those that stumbled across your blog due to its feature on FailBook. I find myself repeatedly coming back, as your raw honesty and humor (sometimes dark, sometimes upbeat) are incredibly addicting. I work at an animal hospital as a technician, and I could not agree more on your assessment of dogs. If you ever wanted an example of unconditional love they would be it. My black lab Molly loves every moment of the day, and enjoys the now of life. I want to be more like her. Watching her play with our other dog Abby makes me want to be able to go through life with such abandon. It is incredible what we can learn from our pets sometimes.

    As a side note, we had a client come in today who mentioned she had a daughter with lupus. The daughter was going through a rough time. I told her, “Hey, I found this blog online….” and gave her the website. I told her to have her daughter read the blog, and hopefully she would find it as uplifting to me.

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    1. Hey,
      Thank you so much for your recommendation. I am hoping this can be a place of comfort for all people of all ages, sick and well. I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t feel they have a voice, and I feel blessed if I can be any part of them feeling better, or not feeling alone. Also, thank you for your work at the animal hospital. Your job is one that doesn’t get enough “thank yous” but is vitally important. Thank YOU!

      Like

  23. I know what you mean! I have a golden named Mayzie, and if it wasn’t for her late night companionship when I can’t fall asleep due to fibro pain, I don’t know what I would do. And her unconditional love inspired me to give back: for every completely pain-free day, I volunteer two hours at the local animal shelter. (While this doesn’t happen often, I also volunteer when I need a little extra TLC and my pup is exhausted.) Thank you for spreading fibromyalgia awareness, and for shining an honest light on what it means to live with this disease.

    Like

  24. My puppy, Lola, is just 4 months old tomorrow. Already, she knows when we need rest and when we can play. She’s still a real puppy, in every sense of the biting and chewing and getting into trouble word, but I feel soooo much better having her around than I did last winter living alone. She makes me smile.

    Like

    1. My dog Lola has had surgeries on both knees, so we understand the challenge that is walking when those weights have somehow attached themselves to your legs. When she gets her ‘hyper’ moments, I have two wonderful kitties that smack her back to reality. (they actually run the house; the rest of us are for show, I believe)

      Your blog makes me happy. And its winter in WI. That analogy should say it all.

      Like

  25. Omg this post couldn’t be any better. My dog Dingo is truely honestly my best friend. I love my fiance to death don’t get me wrong. But my dog? I could be mean as piss to him bc he gets in to the trash can and drags it all through my already small kitchen, but at the end of the day he loves me and you can see it in his eyes. He’s the biggest mommas boy. Since getting therapy of my own, I have seen that no matter what he’s my buddy.

    Like

  26. omg, I just the pics of you and Monty! He is a HANDSOME lad, and you are just adorable too! I love dogs and cats so much, both my dogs and one cat died this year and I cried more than I do for humans. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.

    I sure hope your fibro gets better, I have a chronic incurable disease too (Crohn’s) so I kinda know how you feel. Some days you just have to crawl back under the covers!

    Like

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