Dogs are known as man’s best friend.
That certainly rang true for me this week and in honor of ‘National Puppy Day’ (Which is apparently a thing- and it’s today) I thought I would share with you a small story about my dog.
I’ve introduced my boxer dog Otis to my readers before. He’s my ‘soon to be’ three year old fur-baby. Our rambunctious and naughty dog. He may not exactly ‘be’ a puppy anymore, but if you are familiar with the boxer breed then you will know they are eternal puppies. Always ready to play and have fun, full of more energy then you think is possible and can find themselves in the silliest of situations. Our Otis may be a crazy goof with a scary bark, but he is also a complete sweetheart.
With Otis you have to watch him. He does love to cuddle and hug and show affection, but after about five minutes of it he decides:
“Oh, you are giving me attention? Good! LET’S PLAY”
(and let me tell you- he actually will jump on his hind legs and try to duke it out with you like a human boxer- I have the bruises to prove it!)
He can go for hours and I mean HOURS of playtime before he crashes and in our house- I am the one who he considers his biggest playtime pal.
However, yesterday the sweetest thing happened.
It was the day of my surgery. I had a phone call from the hospital early in the morning telling me they needed me at the hospital ASAP as their first patient didn’t show so they were bumping my surgery for as soon as I arrived.
This sent me into a panic and my anxiety surged.
(And it isn’t helpful when I was told my antidepressants do not mix well with the prescribed painkillers so I have to put them on the back-burner for a bit)
I started running around to get ready only to have them call me back to tell me the patient showed so I was just show up at my regular scheduled time. (Phew)
Needless to say I crawled back into my bed to rest and calm down.
Otis followed me and when I laid down he jumped up, sensing my anxiety and laid his head on my shoulder and stayed that way for awhile. I even snapped a photo. He was comforting me. He could sense I wasn’t okay. He didn’t try to play. He just snuggled me. (And technically he is not allowed in our bed, but given the circumstances I allowed it)
I went off to the hospital. My surgery went well, I now have a Seton Stitch in place and we’re hoping this is the first step in curing my fistula for good. My surgeon was quite happy with how everything went and continues to be optimistic about my prognosis. All that said, after being discharged, I arrived home sore and worn out and went straight to bed. I couldn’t sleep, I was just laying in my bed, television remote in hand trying to process the day and try to relax.
Otis was so happy I was home, but again he didn’t try to play as he usually would. He jumped up onto my bed, attacked my face with kisses and then snuggled into me. Again, he knew I wasn’t feeling well and he was taking care of me in his own doggy way. The only problem I had was when he started gnawing on my hospital bracelets but I just assume he was trying to help me remove them. He was perfectly content just snuggling me, letting me pet him for quite awhile and I took great comfort in it.
There is a reason dogs are used in therapy. The action of petting them when you are anxious or unwell really does help calm one’s nerves.
I’d offer Otis up as a therapy dog- but as he is part cartoon I could not see that going well….. he’d be busy trying to box some little old lady who’s trying to pet him and use bedpans as frisbees…..
I could pitch a reality show starring him called “Keeping Up With The Barkdashians” and it would be highly entertaining for sure. TLC would be all over that.
However, I think we will just keep him all to ourselves.