The Year My Dog Got Me Out of the House

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2005 was a year of challenges for me–both physically and mentally. I thought some of these cycles would never end! Now that I look back I realize that some good came from them.

One period stands out in my mind. In the first months of the year, I was faced with the fact that my dog was getting older. Before the new year, she had become violently ill for a 48 hour period. After several tests the conclusion was “we don’t know”. She got better, but then went through a bout with diarrhea. And, to top it off, she began having urinary problems. Medication solved the later problem. But, the digestive disorders meant only one thing–a change in diet. Her favorite special treats were taken away and she got no more people food (though she never got alot).

I felt so sorry for her! I had to do something to make it up to her. My father took her for 4 walks a week. As I was supposed to walk each day to keep my body moving, I started taking her for a short walk at lunch time. When the weather improved around June, I added another walk after dinner. My mobility problems didn’t lend themselves to long walks, but on a good day I could do 10 minutes at a time. On a bad day, we went the length of the street and back.

At first I dreaded these walks. I went whether I felt good or not. Now I look forward to them and so does Sierra. I get some fresh air and Sierra gets to smell every leaf and twig along the way. Did you know that I had friendly neighbors??? I had spent so much time trapped in my house with arthritis that I’d forgotten.

It’s good to get outside even for 10 minutes at a time, say hello to a neighbor, see the blue sky, and feel the sun on my face. I guess I can thank Sierra for getting me outside the house and back into my neighborhood.

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