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Thursday, June 17, 2010
Pet therapy
Several weeks ago in May, mom had gone to North Carolina because her dad was in the hospital. He was very sick, so mom flew down to be by his side. Everyday we would email her a photo of us to lift her spirits. All of us sent her a photo that we thought would make her smile, and we captioned the photos with something clever because that really makes her laugh. In one photo (left), Betty was asleep in a big dog bed we call "the Foof" which is really a human thing...but we see it as the biggest, tallest, coolest dog bed in the world. So she was all curled up like a donut in it and we labeled it: "Do-nut disturb". You can hardly see me on the left.

That time she was gone for a week and we missed her. Betty even got to go to work (see previous post) and she had her very own photographer taking pics of her commuting to work, riding in the elevator: "Third floor please", and sitting in a chair at a barbeque joint with a co-worker sharing lunch. We think these cheer-up methods brightened her day after she had spent several hours with her dad. She would write back to us saying how her dad held her hand so tight that it turned blue, or how he smiled at her, or how he tried to say something to make her giggle like old times. We like to think we do the same for her in a small way. We lie on her legs and feet, or arms, and she moves us because she says we "cut off her circulation". We know we make her giggle. And we smile at her too.

On Sunday, June 6, mom received a phone call early in the morning. I was cozied up to mom, Betty was on her chest, Cali was on the Foof, and Cookie was on the couch. We all sensed the silent storm approach. The telephone rang with its thunder, and with it brought the rain of tears to her face. We were in the space between strange dreams and being fully awake, just like her. When the phone rang none of us had that groggy look. Not one of us. We always sense a storm, even the silent ones. When a real thunderstorm approaches, mom gives Cali a little pill to ease her anxiety. All we could do was look up at her with our sad faces. After she made the travel arrangements on the phone, she disappeared into the basement and looked through hundreds of photos and put some of them in a pile. Betty is the only one brave enough to venture down those stairs and she watched her look through a box and another bag of photos, and then another box. She put those selected photos in a folder and came back upstairs to be with us. Later she went through another box and put those photos in the same folder. We all sat by her. Then she went upstairs to pack her bag. We got nervous that she would be leaving us. When the suitcase was at the door, we knew she was going away again. 

A few days later mom called our dad. We heard him say, "don't worry, I'll figure everything out". Several days later he came home in a very blue car instead of the red truck, and we were a bit confused. The next morning he brought his suitcase out and then we really got nervous! He packed up the car and then put a collar and leash around my neck and did the same to Betty. We were going to see mom! I asked if Cali and Cookie could come and he said that a friend would be over later in the day to take care of them. We were relieved. We drove all day. We arrived down South that night and mom greeted us at the door! Those three girls I get to see from time to time were there too. That night we slept in her lap as she wrote a letter on her laptop and finished a really nice photo album with some of those same photos in it.

We didn't see mom much the next day. She would dress up and leave and we'd stay in her old bedroom for a couple hours, then she'd come back and let us go outside. Then she would change clothes and leave us again. Even though we didn't see her much during the short time we were visiting her, we were with her for a reason—for support. When she looked at us and smiled or held us tight for a few minutes, we could see her sadness melt away for those few minutes. 

Later that day, we saw them both packing up and filling the car full to the point we didn't know if we'd fit. We were traveling again and this time back North. You can see that Betty got to ride shotgun with mom. Once we got back to our house, I made sure I let mom know where Cali was and Cookie too. That night and all the next day, Cookie was very clingy to mom. Cookie knew somehow that mom was sad. We can sense things you know. Our job is never done.

To dads here and gone, happy Father's Day
Miles ^..^

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Chocolatpeanut.com
is a site dedicated to the memory of a special chocolate lab whose nickname was "chocolate peanut"...and now we (2 frenchies and 2 shorthairs) carry on her spirit of grabbing life by the paws...check in on us often as we have a lot to say

We live in: New England, USA

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  • Previous Posts
  • Helping me help her
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  • Betty, MD
  • Pick me up
  • Remembering Earth Day
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  • A whole new medium
  • It's a new year!
  • Blogging and tweeting, not barking
  • Birthday mom







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