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I write a lot about my dogs, especially since I am now home with them and spend so much time with them. Watching them and being with them has been a gift, not only because of their unconditional love, but because when I watch them and interact with them, they teach me valuable life lessons.

Zoey is my old lady.

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Lately her age is starting to show. Her movement is slower. She has some difficulty getting up from hard slick surfaces now. She’s no longer a big fan of the staircase. She can’t walk as far on our daily walks and she needs more frequent naps after playing with Abby.

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And, we recently started her on daily pain medication.

It’s been hard to watch her struggle knowing there is only so much that I can do for her.

The other day my husband said that he wanted to take a trip and my first reaction was not to go because I was afraid Zoey could not handle the stress of travel. My protective instinct kicked in and I wanted to close Zoey into a safe little bubble, somehow thinking this is what would preserve her health.

Eventually I realized that doing that is actually inhibiting her. It’s not allowing her to live whatever amount of time she has left to the fullest. I don’t want to do that to her. I want her to enjoy her life. And, she loves her life. She loves to travel. She likes adventure. She likes to be wherever we are. So, I changed my mind and I told my husband that we should take our trip.

I realized that this is what I do when I feel fearful or sad or uncertain. I entrench myself in an invisible cloak of control. I mote myself in prison of unrealistic safety. This is how I sometimes survive my life now with sarcoidosis. It’s not a good way to live. I don’t even realize I am doing it until something shows me that I’ve done it again! Were it not for Zoey, I might not have fully come to understand the negative impact this has on my life…and on hers for that matter!

Thanks to my old girl, I’ve learned that I need to dam up the mote and dig out of my entrenchment and change this habit. I’m working on it and it’s not easy but it’s worth the effort so that I can live more fully and freely.

So, thanks Zoey…for teaching yet again…that living…truly and in the moment…is what matters most!

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