We are having a quiet T-day this year. All the kids decided to have a “nuclear” family day, and none of them invited us, so the Ol’ Curmudgeon, Emmy and I will have our own variation on the day – Big breakfast, then thick steaks with veggie sides for dinner.
I am “big time” thankful for the Ol’ Curmudgeon. I’ve always been thankful for him, but I’m more than usual bowled over by the knowledge of his love. He has just built a new entertainment center for us to put our new flat-screen HD TV on. When he gets it installed, I’ll have to post pics of it.
Of course, I’m thankful for the children and grandchildren. They are establishing their own traditions, and experimenting with what seems to be best for them.
And this year, we have a new “person” to be thankful for: Emmy! Emmy has added a new dimension to our lives. I’ve had dogs before, but never a so-excellently trained service dog. And Emmy’s obvious adoration and devotion are “lump-in-the-throat” tender feelings for me. She really works hard trying to learn things. She LOVES to work – because it brings her the desired level of attention from me and treats from the “Food Goddess” (as the Ol’ Curmudgeon laughingly calls me).
Emmy is able to inspire admiration from everyone she is around. Some of the comments she gets are: “So beautiful!” “So well-trained!” “I didn’t even know he was there!” (I correct the incorrect gender comments.) When I drop my keys, tell her, “Keys!” and she retrieves them, people are usually speechless. Then I drop my cane and tell her, “Cane!” She makes a big production of getting the cane in just the right position and tries 3 or 4 different places to pick it up before “handing” it to me. People are floored. The coup-de-gras, however, is when I drop her leash, walk a few feet away and tell her, “Leash!” She picks up the end of the leash and brings it to me. (Of course, the Food Goddess is ready with a tasty little treat, and she knows it! 😉
Keeping her “unbored” is a bit of work, but I’ve discovered a variety of toys helps. She gets bored with one, then goes for another. Taking frequent breaks (or as frequent as I can) helps, too. Doing medical case reviews required concentrated chunks of time – I have to immerse myself in them in order to get the details straight and to analyze what went on and what might have been done wrong that may have caused a bad outcome. Poor little Emmy gets “short shrift” on those days! I have to make sure I program in some good chunks of time for her, too. I’m finding that rather than an irritation, stopping to work with Emmy is a joy, and I can come back to my work with a fresh, rested mind. Even a “mini-break” with her helps.
The first several minutes of moving always hurt. Joints are stiff, muscles are stiff, all of them hurt to move. But Emmy is worth it. And the more I move, the less they hurt, until, of course, I reach the point they start hurting again. The time of activity has increased from 10 minutes to 20 minutes at a time. Doubled! Because of Emmy! Because she stimulates me to move around more. And because there are things I must do to care for her – grooming, wiping off teeth, using grooming wipes, grinding toenails, cleaning ears, etc. Don’t have to do all of it in one day, or even one session. Thank goodness!
A 20 minute window isn’t much, so you can understand that simply going to the grocery is a major expedition that leaves me in major pain and totally exhausted. Emmy is such a help with that. I can’t explain it, but the Ol’ Curmudgeon has observed that Emmy “feeds me energy.” And, somehow, I am managing more extended trips out with Emmy – even if I don’t need her to pick things up for me. She “feeds me energy,” and I can get more done. Stroking her relieves my pain to an extent, for a while, so that helps, too – tremendously!
We are a team! And for that, Thanks be to God! Thanks be to God for All Things!