Today is Verona’s sixth birthday. Being a dog, she probably thinks, wow, why is mom giving me extra treats and belly rubs today? When I’m feeling down from life’s vicissitudes, I think about what’s truly important and being able to work and live with a dog guide is on the top of the list.
The holidays are a bummer for me and thinking about it brings me to a very dark place. So I prefer to stay at home, avoid the pressure of going to places I am uncomfortable and spend extra time with my own family members and animals. There aren’t many places where I feel comfortable, mostly because I am helpless in the homes of well meaning folks who just don’t understand what it’s like being blind. To clarify, just going to a place where you have trouble finding the bathroom and must ask for everything from a napkin to dessert is a huge stress. Maybe it’s because I am so fed up with having to ask for help so often that I just don’t want to be subjected to it during the holidays. It jacks me up instead of relaxing me.
Verona helps mitigate this feeling of helplessness when I’m home, or working and especially when I’m traveling. I know that when I’m working with her I don’t need other people as much.
I’m glad her birthday comes during the holidays, it gives me a chance to celebrate something positive and steadfast, a true light in my life when things seem dim. With Verona, I know that when family stress overwhelms me, I can pick up her leash and take her out for an obedience lesson, play fetch, and brush her glossy coat and come back a bit more settled in spirit. All my dogs have done this for me but she does this and so much more.
I love you, sweet girl, thanks for fortifying my life.