Ever feel like you’re the typical dog that is intently sniffing the ground when suddenly you spot a squirrel and you’re off to try and catch it!  “Squirrel alert!”

The squirrel or distraction in my life is our new puppy, Liesl.  While I work hard to follow my plans of writing about surviving medical mayhem, I find myself wanting to write about her.  Well, actually to write, talk, coo, babble – you get my drift.  It might be because she has taken to sleeping on my desk.  Yes, you read that correctly.  She wanted to curl up on my lap while I write but she is also very wiggly and I was afraid she’d fall.  I made the mistake of taking her little bed and putting it to one side of my desk and well, she liked it.  Who wouldn’t – as it sits in front of three bay windows looking out onto the street.  There she (and I) can watch the world on Foliage Oak Terrace go by.  She sits and watches the world outside and then curls up and goes to sleep while I write.  I call it writing by “Doxie Power”.  I literally had to rearrange my desk so she could have ample vision of the street but you know – like Loreal – she’s worth it.

Liesl has been with us now for ten weeks and is 18 weeks old.  She sleeps through the night in her crate and will often tell us when she wants to go to bed!  Boy, do we feel lucky.  She has learned to sit, wait, give us her paw(s), stay, go to her crate, and get in her bed.  She will go up and down the ramp that gains her access to the couch; something we swore no dog would ever sit on.  Liesl is pretty well potty trained although if you aren’t observant enough to see her get antsy she finds a hiding place to deliver “the goods”.  We are working on having her ring the bell that is attached to the sliding doors to the back yard to let us know when she needs to go out but that is hit or miss because she also finds it great fun to play with it.

Liesl changed our lives significantly.

There are baby gates, ramps, and toys strewn around the house including the bathroom which she thinks is a great place for her to get some undivided attention.  She has a bed in her crate, one in the office and a bed in the kitchen so she can be safe and not underfoot while we are both preparing meals. After being stepped on a few times and teaching her to “get in her bed” to get a treat, she readily likes her view from that vantage point.  She has half a shelf in our pantry of training treats, dog food, chewies, biscuits that are slowly hedging out the rice, pasta, and quinoa on the shelf.  The inventory of stuff that Liesl has is akin to that of Home Goods.

We no longer walk when it is cool outside which in Central Florida means around 6:30 am because by the time we get her up (yes, we have to wake her up), let her out to relieve herself, feed her and take her for a walk, the sun is heating up the day. She gets fed three times a days, and taken outside almost hourly.  We work on training exercises at least twice a day.  And then there is the socializing which can be hard to do in these COVID-19 Pandemic times but we meet other dog’s owners and we have play dates for her. It’s a wonder Thad and I have time to schedule doctors’ appointments and our bible studies.  But we do because she needs to fit into our lives and know that there are times she needs to be by herself to rest, sleep and self soothe.

But in such a time as this with the pandemic, the natural disasters, and medical mayhem that surrounds us; Liesl distracts us from the pain and sadness that occupies the media, our minds and our lives bringing us respite from it all. Liesl makes us smile, laugh and for a few moments forget how frightening this world can be.

When I put it in the context of Surviving Medical Mayhem, I believe she has positively improved our health.  With more daily exercise, keeping alert and aware of where she is and what she is doing at all times along with consistently training her has proven to be an antidote for aging.  Thad and I have more energy and I have to say are little bit more with it.  There are still glitches in our memories (we are after all in our 60’s-70’s) but I truly believe there are less of them.  I realized that the brain is also a muscle and we have just not been exercising it to its potential!

I realized that I have become complacent in my health care, as well as my writing and having this little ball of fur has given me incentive to stay healthy, attentive and present to care for her and enjoy life.  For life, my friends, is what you make it.

This is a long blog to say that she is indeed like having a baby again in our lives.  She is demanding, exciting, exhausting, funny, and sweet.  We find ourselves falling asleep a little sooner on the couch than before but I cannot imagine a day not starting with her excitement at seeing us when she wakes up, or when we come home from having been away.  The unconditional love, and excitement just brings so much joy.

And with Liesl we just filled it with joy.

 

Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.