In fact, when we first decided to get a puppy, my husband, (then boyfriend), and I were in a very different position physically, financially and emotionally to that which we are today!
I was truly living the perfect life that I describe so often in my blog- the perfect job, getting paid to jet around the world as a long haul air hostess, whilst also falling deeper and deeper in love with my gorgeous RAF pilot boyfriend. Life was nothing short of a dream, but unfortunately, like with all wonderful dreams, we have to wake up when morning comes, and however much we may try to doze off back off to sleep to recapture that euphoric state that we felt in that dream, it simply slips away never to be felt quite the same again.
Before my metaphoric dawn came to wake me up from my heavenly life, things for me were made all the more perfect in 2006 by the decision of my boyfriend and me getting a puppy.
It was what I had always longed for and on top of everything else, this dream was now coming true too!
I genuinely believed even nine weeks after my car accident that I would return to work imminently.
My husband and I had no idea of the extent of my injuries and being a Friday evening as I lay in the A and E examination cubicle in my gown with Garry at my side, we jovially discussed how we would perhaps drove down to Garry’s sister’s Devon smallholding to introduce our gorgeous boy to her rabble oft rescued chickens, rabbits, ponies, cats and one-legged dogs, we excitedly discussed having a fish and chip supper by his sister’s wood burner in her idyllic cottage in the countryside when the consultant returned with reinforcements. Four people of whatever job title stood before me as the consultant proclaimed that they may not in her opinion perhaps not rush me to Bristol Spinal Unit for surgery tonight, but maybe wait until the morning as it’s getting late.
I was a trainer dancer didn’t they know? I lived for travelling, running, cycling, swimming and snowboarding- there is no way in the world that is could be happening to ME! They MUST have it wrong, they must; and to a degree they thankfully did.
Due to the complicated and grey situation in my spine, I had to stay in hospital for a few days whilst all manner of tests and scans were performed, but was thankfully able to return home to my new puppy with instructed minimal movement whilst they decided what to do.
The deliberating of the consultant and registrars actually went on for just over a year whilst I was pulled in to hospital over and over again whilst they decided quite what to do to avoid the evasive and potentially paralysing surgery that they knew that I needed but at 23 would do all that they could to avoid.
Being in hospital so much I missed important milestones in my little puppy’s life, and each time I returned home he would seem huge and all the more like a full grown up dog every time!
If I wasn’t well enough I would join the other lovely ladies who I shared the orthopaedic ward with in waving at the confused little creature from the first floor hospital window!
Simply speaking, Barley became my world, my entertainer when I needed a smile and my comforter when I was finding the world all to unfair with many a time that is his head would become covered in snot and tears if a tissue were not to hand!
There was even time when I slipped in the bath and almost screamed loud enough for the whole of Wiltshire to have heard me, instantaneously my little boy came storming up the stairs with a concerned look on his doggy face, (well, that’s what I’d like to believe anyway, it may have been fear or confusion!), and began licking my hand until Garry managed to drag him away and calm him down enough to stop covering me with his saliva!
Having got Barley just after my accident I often think of how wonderful it would be to simply run and play with him like Garry and my family do, but I can not focus on what I will never have, I have to grateful for that which I do which is a wonderful support and now thanks to my new power chair ‘The Beast’, I can have a little play with Barley and whizz around to have a form of play.
I am so blessed to have both of my boys, although I have to say that the four legged one is a little less problematic and troublesome- (he also talks back a little less!).
What are you feeling blessed and thankful for today?
I thank God for my wonderful dog Barley- I pray for his health and happiness every day.
I wish you the same everyone. God bless you all, be thankful for those things and people in your life that you see everyday and may just become a little complacent with.