Friday, January 23, 2009

hip dysplasia - part 2

This is part 2 of Sophie's hip dysplasia story. Again, it is an older column that ran in April of last year. Since writing this column, she has come along way...we continue to manage the symptoms of her disease, although they are quite mild these days, and take preventative measures when necessary while still allowing Sophie to be the very essence of a Border, enthusiastic, playful and always ready to go. I've included my few pics of Sophie and I together in this post...I prefer to be on the other side of the camera but thought they were fitting for the piece. I know the quality of the photos is not great...but I do love seeing me and my girl together. :)

So, from April of last year...She's Lucky To Have You.

During my recent travels to various animal professionals, physiotherapy appointments and vets with Sophie as a result of her hip dysplasia diagnosis, I’ve been told by several people that “she’s lucky to have you”. And I have been thinking a lot about that statement because, as nice as it is for people to say, I don’t think it’s entirely accurate.

camping in Port Elgin in 2007

When I brought Sophie into my life I had no real idea about the kind of impact she would have on me. After a year with one another, my perspective on the world has drastically changed. And I have found a new capacity within myself for patience, for joy and for a kind of love that I didn’t even realize existed. In being with Sophie, I have learned to peel back a layer in life where I can now see in a fleeting moment or within the smallest act, something truly beautiful and worth noticing. I can see what’s important.

christmas eve 2007

I have seen Sophie, normally in non-stop “let’s go!” mode, sit quietly by an elderly lady in a wheelchair at our local Remembrance Day ceremony. The lady softly stroked Sophie’s fur while the trumpets played and my affection for that dog and that moment nearly had my heart bursting out of my chest. There has not been an accomplishment in my life that has made feel even remotely as proud as I do when strangers at the park comment on how amazing it is to watch us work together. Some of my greatest achievements and happiest moments in the last year have been spent learning to walk through this world, physically, emotionally and spiritually, with this little dog at my side. Through working to build this amazing connection with her, I have deepened my appreciation for the other connections I have with the people in my life. I realize that for any of these connections to remain strong and to survive, it takes work and understanding and communication. And most of all love.

hiking on valentine's day 2008...she was diagnosed two
days later

The love of a dog is vast and it knows no boundaries. It fills you up in places that you didn’t even know were empty. Sophie’s love has been an amazing gift…one that has made a difference in every aspect of my life. So if I miss the latest episode of Lost to take her to a physio appointment or forgo that summer clothes shopping spree so that she can have medicine that helps ease the pain in her hip, it seems like a small price to pay for that love. A very small price. So, the next time I hear someone say “she’s lucky to have you”…I will have to assume that they are talking to Sophie about me. Because I think I’m the luckiest person in the world.

christmas party at a friends 2007


Far Side of Fifty said...

Wonderful stories about acceptance and taking things one day at a time. Great photos too! :)

Carolina said...

Will you please stop making me almost cry! God I could hug you. You are both lucky!
Lots of love from the Brinkbeestgang and the Brinkbeest herself for both of you!

Anonymous said...

A wonderfully written post and so very heart-warming. We got Harriet (doxie) for my mom who was blind. For the 2 years before mom died, these two were so good for one another. Harriet now is a great companion for Nalley, who is in failing health.

dw said...

A beautiful story. Your bond with Sophie is so warming and special.

Sharon said...

Yes, yes, are lucky:)
If you ever need a good short book to read, pick up "Chosen by a Horse" (How a broken horse fixed a broken heart) by Susan Richards

Bruce said...

We animals who are not quite perfect always make the best companions cuz we are so thankful that someone is loving us just the way we are:)

Hilary said...

Clearly you two were made for each other.

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

A Beautiful story. It sounds like you are both lucky to have each other. :-)