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Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Shadow & My Honey Bee

I grew up having pets - primarily horses and dogs. They've always been a source of comfort, love, and laughter. Since my car accident, there have been two dogs that have really helped me a lot with living life with chronic pain.

Shadow
© 2012 Jamie V.
Shadow

When I had to move back in with my parents, following my car accident in October 2008, I found great comfort in their dogs. One of their dogs, Shadow, became my personal shadow. She followed me around the house to make sure I was okay; and if I was gone "too long," she would come looking for me. She cuddled with me. She protected me. She was perceptive to my needs. She listened to me and sat with me as I cried, trying to grieve the life that I had before the accident. She helped me through some of my darkest times, and I'm so very grateful for that.

When I moved to Tulsa to go to graduate school (about 8 months after my accident), I tried to explain to her that I'd be gone for a few weeks, but that I'd be back. But, she wasn't too happy with it. She shunned me for a few hours, whenever I would come home for the weekend or something.

Now, Shadow is getting older and has injured herself so much that it's hard for her to get up and move around too much. I always try to spend some time with her, when I visit my parents' house. There's no way that I can show her how much she's meant to me over the years, but I'll continue to love on her every time I see her loving face.

Honey Bee
© 2012 Jamie V.
Honey Bee

This summer (July 2012), my husband and I adopted a dog, Honey Bee. She has brought us so much joy and comfort over the past 5 months.

When we adopted her, I was actually in the midst of a horrendous status migraine that lead me to the ER just a few days after we got her, and then to an emergency visit the following week. I wasn't able to spend much time with her - I was at a point where I was so sensitive to anything even touching or being near me. But, she's such a sweetheart, and our relationship is only just beginning.

She's had a difficult past, but she's in such a loving home now. She's actually more responsive to Jeremy, which can be heartbreaking sometimes. She's home with me every day, but I don't feel that she's very perceptive of me. But, I find joy in seeing her and my husband play and spend time together... I find joy in their joy.

Honey  Bee
© 2012 Jamie V.
Honey is a very quiet dog by nature. She mostly minds her own business. She'll snuggle, play, and has been showing more and more of her silly self. She's such a beautiful girl, and her soft, sensitive eyes show such a lovely soul. Her fur is so very soft, and she loves being pet. She reminds me that great things can come from difficult times - she was hit by a car a year and a half ago, and had to have her back right leg amputated... but that hasn't slowed her down in the least!

I do my best to play with her, take her for walks, and train her. She may not always want to snuggle, but neither do I - we each like our space sometimes.

Honey has been such a peaceful and calming presence, and I know she shows her love in the ways that she knows.

Pets have such power to change our moods, help keep life in perspective, and feel unconditionally loved. When I see Honey so excited over something little (like when we get home from a short grocery visit, we give her a new toy, we feed her dinner, etc), it makes me smile. Her kisses are healing. And, I know that I can face the hardships in my life and come out on top.