Monday, July 16, 2007


The assertive patient has inspired Joint Blogging Again.

Over the last several months, I have specifically thanked many of the people who have helped me on this journey- my family and friends. I know that I have gotten to this point with my sanity reasonably intact because of everyone’s help and support. However, there is one very little being who has been with me every step of the way (except for her hiatus at the beach with my brothers family, while I was in New York), who gets very little recognition for her unending loyalty. Yep, that is my little pesky dog, Sadie.

Sadie joined my family 3 years ago when she was just about 6 weeks old and barely over a pound. She has been my nearly constant companion ever since; however, I never fully realized the real truth of the bond between a dog and its owner until I got sick and then the canine intuition became so clear. She has been so acutely sensitive to my moods. When I am happy she gets me out of bed every day, encourages me to walk, helps with my morning stretching, makes me laugh with her antics, etc. However, on my bad days which fortunately have definately been in the minority, she knows just what the right response is to the impending badness…
1- stay clear and let me be alone- those are the real meltdowns
2- sit beside me offering her support but no words of wisdom, no platitudes just support
3- lick the tears off my face as if saying it will get better
4- bring me toys and convince me to play with her- the translation- get over your self and smile there is fun to be had.
Further, she knows when it is time to transition between the stages. If I could give one word of advice to support people out there- it would be to follow the guide of the person’s dog, they know exactly what kind of support is needed at any moment.

Now, that I am getting better and stronger and hopefully, all of those bad, teary moments are a thing of the past. Sadie is an eager participant in my new walking and hiking skills. She loves it when we go up to mountains and she can run her favorite trails. She is so happy to go on her daily, sometimes twice daily, walks. She is almost as excited about the progress that I make as I am. However, the downside is that as I get better and have to go back to work her reward alas is to be left home alone again. It hardly seems fair. All of that devotion and that is the reward she gets. Sort of like M. Acklam’s, thought “We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.” While I may argue, that I give Sadie more than just what I can spare there is no denying that I get the better end of this trade. Sadie gives me everything she has and in return she just wants a couple of hours of attention a day. Nice

Sadie waits patiently while I write this post.

Sadie exerts her wish to not be left behind by climbing into my suitcase of her own accord.

Sadie helps me make the slipcover for my couch- time passing tactic number 5 during those darkest days late in radiation and in the post recovery period when I couldn't walk and was crawling around my house while doing this project.

My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.


Kathleen said...

Hey Lisa,

I have never been one to become completely attached to a dog even though they have been a part of my life for many years. I have put a dog to sleep and shed no tears, been there for friends as they did the same. But my dog Kayla is like one of my kids. When I talk to her I refer to my kids as her brother and sister, my parents as her grandparents.
I worry about our trip to Arrowhead because she has never been alone before. She knows instinctively what my emotional needs are and waits for me to come home when I am gone.
My family says I must speak dog, because she waits for me to tell me a problem she has and I have a 99% success rate at interpreting it. Better than I do with my kids.
Dogs are great!
By the way - the couch that is just pure awesome!


Doctor David said...

Your post reminds me of an old prayer that says the same thing as your last line: "Lord, help me to become the person my dog thinks I am."

Anonymous said...

I just want to say how much I love and adore your dog!!!

Anonymous said...


Jeanne said...

Lisa--Sadie's story is wonderful.

Here's the link to the story I wrote about my friend Jill and her dog. Still haven't finished writing about Constant, my constant companion.