I took a look at my dog, Ginger, today. When we first captured her, she had heart worms, so the vet took her through a very dangerous procedure where they put arsenic in her blood to kill the worms. We had to keep her quiet for weeks, which was extremely difficult. Then, we had to have her spayed. Since Shar Peis have a problem with eyelashes growing into their eyes, we had her eyes done at the same time. We had another dog at the time and they fought constantly, so we had to take Ginger a half-dozen times for stitches, mostly in her face. Wrinkles are not a good defense for frenzied dog fighting. The dreaded cone was her constant companion. A few years later, she blew out her knee chasing a squirrel and had to have ACL surgery. This was followed by weeks of rehabilitation. Each time she bounced back. Each time she persevered. These things that would have likely impaired or devastated a human being just never seemed to bother her.
Then, three years ago, we dealt with the mast cell tumor and the removal with surgery. She recovered well and responded to alternative therapies. Then, there were several years that were uneventful. Recently, she had several major operations to remove more mast cell lumps on her paw, belly, and underarm. After the surgeries, she developed a mast cell patch on her side, which we treated with cortisone shots. She has arthritis in her knees and sores on her feet probably from mast cells. I’m sure she is in some pain and discomfort most of the time.
And despite this, she abides. She perseveres no matter what. She keeps going. She doesn’t whine (except for food). She just takes whatever is handed to her and makes it work. She loves her walks. She loves her food and treats. She barely uses her back right leg now and struggles to stand. But she always gets up. She may need help at times, but she keeps going. Just this week, she chased a squirrel and a cat. It was a hobbled chase, but a chase filled with spirit and determination nonetheless.
When I am struggling I remember two things: 1. I am blessed beyond measure and find the joy and thankfulness for those blessings. and 2. My dog inspires me to persevere and keep going no matter what. So what is your dog teaching you? I would love to know.