I'm sick! Wah!!!
Is it allergies? Is it malaria? I just know my throat is achy, I can't sleep and I'm going through tissues like sandbags during a monsoon.
You know what's been the best medicine? My pets. Pearl, the Wonder Dog and my two cats, Kona, who is a black cat and Leo, who is a squirrel cat (see photo).
Through a totally restless night of tossing and turning, punching pillows, moving from the bed to the couch and back, these three furry therapists stayed by my side. They comforted me. Just having them next to me, soothed me more than any anti-allergy capsule or milkshake (I tried both w/ poor results.) When I was in pain, I could reach out a hand and touch soft fur. When I felt sad and alone, I could see sympathetic brown eyes looking at me with love and compassion.
This morning, the worst is over. I am still weak and I shouldn't push it today. (um, too late, I fear). But through all that misery - and it was miserable - the animals by my side were the best medicine.
This has got to be even stronger when your best animal friend is your Hearing or Service Dog. Some of our graduates suffer from chronic pain. You can't understand that - really understand it - unless you've been there. That is part of the blessing of being sick - it gives you great empathy for people in pain. I'm sure it fades w/ the symptoms leaving you, but it's good to have the insight of feeling weak, hurt and vulnerable.
So, I'm glad to have experienced the lifesaving comfort of a long legged border collie mix, a timid black cat and his Royal Highness Prince Leo, for helping me make it through the night and for the insight it gave me into an important way our Hearing and Service Dogs touch their partners.