Blue-Violet Iris Interior

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jumping for Joy

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my dog Abbey has been staying close to my side while I've been spending most of my time in bed recovering from an inadvertent blow to the head that knocked my usual migraines into a whole new league. I've finally started to see some real progress after receiving a Vitamin B3 injection on Friday followed by acupuncture on Saturday. Good thing, too, because as of Thursday I was heartily miserable and had an emotional meltdown that so worried the dog that she refused to go in her crate that night, electing instead to keep watch outside my bedroom door.

Yesterday, however, I'm sure she was heartened to see that I was spending far more of my hours in bed reading than lying down with the lights off, but what prompted an ecstatic celebration on her part was something that resonated deeply on DOG level.

Dog & Girl back in June

A little background: when Abbey needs to, ahem, use the restroom, we walk her around to the side of the house where an area covered in bark is set aside for this purpose. It may seem funny to take a dog for a walk in its own backyard, but doing so enables us to immediately pick up after her, saving us from periodic unpleasant treasure hunts and keeping the area much more fresh, something that would no doubt be appreciated by the neighbors if they knew of the arrangement. So there are a few rules for Abbey that go along with this setup: one, that she must walk beside or behind us when we go to and from her area, and two, that she is to wait in the vicinity while we pick up after her.

Yesterday afternoon I took her out and she behaved properly on the way there and waited patiently while I did the cleanup, but when we started back toward the house, Abbey ran on ahead of me and was surveying the yard from the deck before I'd taken more than a step beyond where she'd been waiting. Well, that's against the rules, so I made her come back and assume the proper position beside me and walk nicely in step with me back to the house.

Once we were back inside, Abbey couldn't contain her excitement. She jumped for joy, she twisted and spun, she wriggled and waggled. My parents, who had been out of the house, arrived home shortly afterward and she invited them to celebrate, too, coaxing my dad into playing a game and twirling and bouncing with delight as she "brought" my mother upstairs to see me, her tail a blur all the while. The reason for all this happiness? That I was well enough to once again assert my authority, a mantle she had felt had been removed when I got too sick to behave normally, thus, in her mind, requiring her to step up and provide care, but one she was overjoyed to see me put on again. In other words, my dog is never happier than when I'm the boss. (I'm hoping she wasn't too disappointed that I got back in bed for a nap immediately after this explosion of delight.)

Abbey was much more interested in licking ears and asking for belly rubs than get her picture taken with her recovering owner, hence the no-look-this-way hand under the chin!

It's been a great comfort to me to have her beside me while I've gone through this ordeal, but I'm glad Abbey considers signs of improvement to be cause for wild celebration. I, too, am definitely looking forward to the day when she no longer needs to act as a caregiver and can resume the role of photographer's assistant, napping companion, and recipient of much petting!

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