As my long time readers know, my precious service dog, Henry, joined our family back in August of 2017 at the suggestion of my cardiologist when I was struggling mightily with my anxiety disorder and my heart rate was running amok. This was shortly – just a few weeks – after I had to give up my work as a nurse due to my autoimmune disease.
When I told my husband that she recommended a support dog, we were driving down the interstate on our way to my favorite used bookstore and he immediately got off at the next exit and rerouted to our local humane society (yes, he is just the best ❤ ).
We’ve always been “adopt, don’t shop” people, and, if possible, this would be no exception.
As we were driving, I was looking through the available dogs and Henry was actually NOT the dog we went to meet. That dog was chosen by a family there before us and I decided to meet a larger dog, “Hercules,” at the last minute.
Well, “Hercules” literally ran into the room and jumped into my lap on the couch where I was sitting and I looked at his little face and kissed his noggin and told him he was now Henry and I loved him already and the rest is history as they say. . .
From the minute he came home, Henry and I have been inseparable. He learned to service so quickly and loves to be with his people. I had NO idea just how much I would need him when he joined us – but he has been the BEST prescription I’ve ever been given.
A few weeks after he joined our family, my hair loss from yet another medication reached the point that I had to shave my head and I know it’s a cosmetic thing – but that was HARD.
He was a great comfort.
At the same time, my feet were just CRUMBLING, bone by bone, and his companionship was so needed as that worsened over time.
Then the bigger health challenges hit – with CRPS showing up uninvited and just wreaking havoc on my body. His company during those days of horrific pain, unable to walk, in bed, was one of my saving graces. And then the rounds of osteomyelitis and sepsis. And now there is this left hip situation to contend with. . .
I am so grateful to have him with me.
Our whole family loves him so.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been just me dealing with health challenges: my Henry has had several of his own – and some of them have been REALLY scary.
He has been diagnosed with diabetes – and initially developed DKA (so frightening).
Then, after an eye surgery, he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease and was HORRIBLY ill for sometime. It was so scary – and MUCH worse because when he seemed to be almost recovered he took a turn with a condition called autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) that often can have poor outcomes – much worse than the vet even had the heart to tell me when it was happening.
However, the amazing vet and his team took SUCH good care of Henry and we prayed and prayed and he made a full recovery. The staff at Urgent Care started calling him The Comeback Kid.
Since then, he had done really well – and, overall, he has – but he did experience another REALLY scary flare of his AIHA in March, after a round of pancreatitis. It was a terrifying few weeks.
But, again, with the vet team and lots of prayer, The Comeback Kid fully recovered.
We are SO grateful.
And, even though we celebrate him big every birthday, having just come through such a scary scary time called for an EXTRA BIG celebration of Henry’s 7th Birthday.
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other – and always remember to adopt, don’t shop. ❤
Grace and Blessings.