What happens when you are crying uncontrollably, can’t leave the house and want to hide under the covers all of the time? There is one thing or someone that you can always count on to brighten your day. Your puppy. He at least needs you to crawl out from under your fortress of comfort and safety to take him to go outside to pee.
Dogs are intuitive. They know when you are hurting. They know when you are scared and in pain. They protect you from intruders and from the unknown. Provide the best cuddles ever and give you the cutest looks with their drop dead gorgeous eyes. They know and feeling when you are lost.
Ace is my love; my puppy and my saviour. He has been my therapy since getting out of the hospital. I even refer to him as my child. I know that he is not, but he is the closest thing to it right now. I am one of those obsessed and crazy animal lovers who buy outfits for their pets. I have this outpouring of love for him that I cannot control, nor am I willing to give up.
He never leaves my side. Comforts me when I cry. Listens to me when I need someone to talk to and, of course, protects me from the bad guys. Throughout this process, Ace has made me laugh when I didn’t think laughter would be heard in our house again and keeps me company. When I have my bad days he is here and when I have my good days he is here. He has helped me come back out of my shell, even though it may seem like I am still there, sheltered away in a hermit-like state.
When I was in the hospital he came to visit me. Every day my therapists would ask what do you miss the most or what is it that you would want to have from home and my answer would always remain the same, “Ace”. We got him three years ago from a town outside of Waterloo. When I saw the Kijiji ad I knew that he had ‘found us’. Of course, there were rules when he came to live with us, rules that were meant to be broken in my eyes.
His cuteness just couldn’t hold being left on the floor to sleep. When Sidney left for nights working at the Fire Department, there he was right beside me as close as ever and fast asleep in bed. That was the first rule broken no sleeping in the bed. Also, no dogs on the furniture and so forth. Eventually, he became King of the house and has ruled the roost ever since.
One of the best moments was when he came to visit me in the hospital. Now Ace is a special dog. Tabitha, one of my Rec Therapist‘s suggested having him come up if he passed all of the requirements. Every week there was a therapy dog that came to the hospital to visit patients and interact with them. The owners who volunteered their time each week brought in their dogs and talked with the patients. The volunteers and their dogs brought smiles into their lives of patients and staff when sometimes there doesn’t seem to be something to smile about. These volunteers donating their time are amazing. They don’t know how this service affects the lives on that floor and afterward. I don’t know how I can thank my team of therapists for seeing this need for me. It helped me move forward, one day at a time. I mean, how can you not fall in love with that little face.
Here is a photo of him on my hospital bed below.
When people go through traumatic events it feels like their whole world is crashing down around them. They are transplanted to another place and your whole life changes. Your pet allows routine that needs a proceeded to the life you had prior to everything that happened. It reminds you of what you had before everything changed and that someone needs you still, which is important when you have lost most of your independence, especially for a 26-year-old.
It is hard to translate what you are feeling to the outside world, let alone to loved ones. You don’t want to burden them even more so it is easier to lock yourself away then to submit them to your emotional outbursts that are like a rollercoaster I am sure they did not want to ride. It is sometimes uncontrollable the anxiety felt and the panic attacks are set off by even the tiniest of things. You need to be alone until you can figure out your life and get back to yourself again, whatever that ‘life model’ is. Ace has helped me get back on track. Slowly but surely. I am by no means back to my ‘normal’ self, but I am on the road. I can see the signs.