I’ve been recovering from a three month case of bronchitis. I got sick in December, shortly after Mom got out of the hospital, and I’ve pretty much stayed sick and was too stubborn to go to the doctor till this week because I knew what was going to happen. I knew I was going to have to take a round of steroids, because when I get sick like this it flares up the asthma and takes awhile to recover. (And I’m talkin’ legal stuff here, so don’t get the idea that I’m going She-Hulk or anything like that).
I don’t know how many of you have had the pleasure (and I use that term loosely) of a heavy round of steroids to reduce inflammation, but with me, the side effects go to sleeplessness and a nice dose of paranoia to go along with the lack of sleep since they kick your system into overdrive. I’m not going into these for sympathy, but to set the scene for what happened last night.
As many of you know, Oscar, our dachshund who passed three years ago, was my little soul mate. I could look at him, and he knew my mood, my feelings, my state of mind and reacted accordingly. We were connected in a way I didn’t think was possible between a human and an animal. I’d yet to experience anything close to that with Penny. Some of it I’m sure has to do with her age — and with the fact that she’s a completely different dog. She’s more of an independent soul… not a cuddle bug… wants to do her own thing.
But about 3:30 in the morning, when I was laying awake because I couldn’t sleep, thinking of everything bad that could possibly happen during the next several years (remember – I said paranoia, tinged with my trademark obsessive compuslive traits)… well, suddenly I felt this wet little nose pressing against my cheek. And there was Penny. She had decided to come see what was the matter… gave me some doggie kisses, let me rub her belly… then snuggled up right next to me (with her facing the door, of course, because that’s part of her “watchdog” duty). She looked over her little shoulder as if to say “Relax, mom. I got this”, and then proceeded to stay with me through the rest of the night. When I finally got up because it was useless to try to get back to sleep, she followed me out to the great room and stuck to me like glue.
The behavior was stunning in that it was so different. It was a breakthrough for us.
Penny will be 3 next month. We’ll just say she was a difficult pup. But, just maybe, all that work is gonna give us one heck of a dog.