Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spirit - the Wonder Dog

So, more on Spirit and how he came into my life.

As I stated before, George had a little mental breakdown at the same time Spirit came back to the trainer.  Ryan, my hubby, really didn't want another dog in the house let alone a POODLE!  But he relented and said we would do a one month trial.
So here was poor Spirit, thrown into a ready made pack.  George, who loves everyone, became his best pal and Jake. . .well Jake was a little jealous.  He tried to show Spirit that George was his friend and Spirit was not allowed to play with him.  Have you ever heard a mad poodle?

You probably think it's a little nothing, certainly not scary like a German Shepard, Rottie or a Pittie. . .well you are wrong! One of the worst snarly, growly sounds I had ever heard came out of this dog's mouth that lasted about a second.  Jake, terrified, gave way and Spirit went happily back to playing with George.  There is an article called He Just Wants to Say "Hi" that talks about polite behavior between dogs.  Click the link to read it.  A wonderful article that opened my eyes about polite behavior among dogs. So poor Jake found himself on the bottom of the pack, yet again.

A few days later I was at the sewing machine trying to get a project done.  Spirit kept nudging me trying to get my attention.  He then started tugging at me.  Hubby unplugged my machine and sent me to my room to rest.  ME a 40 yr old woman sent to bed for a nap like a kid.  I didn't wanna take a nap. . .stupid people.  So off to bed I went with Spirit following.
I got up in bed, under the covers and Spirit settled at the foot of my bed.  I grabbed a book off the headboard and started to read.  At the first turn of a page Spirit picked his head up, looked at me and came up.  He took the book out of my hands, plucked my glasses off and put them up on the headboard shelf and then laid right across me with a "what do you think you are doing Lady" glare to his eye.

I was told that about 2 minutes later I was passed out.  

You see I'd been having these "spells" where I would get disorientated, and heavily fatigued.  Sometimes I would pass out right after one, or I would meander appearing to be doing things, but have no recollection of them and lose about 1 - 3 hrs of my life.  The doctor's aren't sure what it is, one suggested Temporal Lobe seizures.  The symptoms that I have, and were about to identify in a particular order due to Spirit's alerts, are classic of that disorder.  It's a hard condition to test for and most diagnosis are made on the symptoms.

With proper management they can be controlled somewhat. By listening to Spirit as to when to take breaks, when to nap and when to get to a safe spot it has allowed some control back into my life.

My keys had been taken away from me, since it would do no one any good for me to be on the road driving on "automatic".  Add the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome to all of it, and well, you can see how much fun I have on a given day.

By listening to this wonderful dog I have learned how to pace myself.  From the medic alerts he gives me for my "fatigue spells", to the help with balance and locomotion, to picking up things for me so I don't have to bend over all the time, it has increased the things I am able to do on most days.
I still have times that I am in bed more than I am awake.  But that typically happens after I have "pushed" it for school or, now, helping my mother.  I always get the "I told you so" look as Spirit cuddles up to me so I can get warm and firm pressure where I need it so I can get comfortable.

But it's kinda sad.  Here I am 41 years old and my dog bosses me around.  This is what my life has become. . .

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