Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ode to Otis...

Click on the above photo to get a closer look. Neither of these are my puppy but they are the closest I could find to what mine looks like. My USB lead is still playing up so I can't upload my photos yet.

Hello all, I am still here, I've been laying low for a bit whilst I lick my wounds. Puppy, now known as Otis, is doing really well, although don't mention toilet training to loudly in his vicinity as he is a little sensitive about it at the moment! A few little accidents followed by hurried dashes to the back door and out into the yard where one has a little 'time out' to think about what one has done....oh the shame... Never fear, we shall get there! Now if we wisely ignore his little... ah.... indiscretions, he is doing brilliantly. He is learning to sit in order to receive one of his 'treats'. He is learning not to chew on peoples fingers, toes, ears, or any other appendage that may be in view, he is learning not to scratch the front of the sofa and arm chairs which were brand new in January!, he is also learning that whilst we all love him very much, some of his behaviour we are not so fond of! There is absolutely no doubt about it, puppies are very hard work! At times, I admit, I shake my head in despair and wonder what the hell I was thinking adding a puppy into the mix, when I am already struggling along trying to be a good, responsible parent and failing miserably most of the time for various reasons, not the least of which is this damn cancer. Then, luckily, there are those times when Otis is snuggled up along side of me on the sofa, all warm softness and puppy breath, my heart melts and all is forgiven. There are the times when I am up late in the night, bent over and breathing hard as though in labour, when the tumor is touching the nerves in my lower spine, when my entire pelvic cavity feels as though it has been stretched out tightly and could crack at any moment, Otis comes with me to the kitchen which is where I do most of my 'suffering', rather than try and gain my attention he goes to his cushion which is situated right next to my computer desk, where he also happens to have a birds eye view of everything going on in the kitchen. He watches me as I puff and pant and moan and groan and reach for tablets then gulp them down, a handful at at time (I kid you not), then fill and boil the kettle and fill up my hot water bottle. He waits until I have placed the hot water bottle at the back of my chair and I sit down with it on my lower back. He seems to know when I feel some relief and then he is at my feet, putting his paws up to my knees with his darling little face saying 'okay, can I sit with you now?' So, of course, I reach for him and place him on my knee and he warms the front part of my aching tummy. He just sits there quietly but he is very soothing and loving and then I remember why I got him, why the hard work of having a puppy is all worth it. I wanted a dog as a companion for just those times. When I am in pain deep in the night and know one else can be there for me, when I am feeling the blues or get frightened at what's ahead, my little companion, as faithful a friend as you will ever find, fills me with warmth and love at the sight of his simple, yet beautiful, nature. He just wants love. That's all. A pat here and there, a cuddle on the knee and he's in heaven. Such simple wants that are so beautiful. To give love and receive love, that's what these furry companions live for. Love heals. I believe that. I have seen that, gosh I've even experienced it. Dogs are being used all over as healers. In nursing homes, with wayward children, with ill children and ill adults. Of course they are healing because they are all about love, giving it and receiving it. There is evidence that indicates people who are lonely and/or ill, do remarkably better when sharing time with a dog. I was longing for a dog, moreso than I ever remember doing before in my life. I think my inner intelligence knew exactly what I needed. I like to believe that the ridiculous prognosis I have been given by numerous medical professionals who bask in statistics, will increase ten fold thanks to the healing qualities of a loving animal. I eat the right foods, do the right exercises, meditate, have my chemo but I think the warm body of an animal that loves you can do more than all of these things put together. I know that is just my belief and I don't have any proof that I'm right other than what's already been studied and written about, but I believe I've learned a lot in my years on earth, especially the past five years fighting this cancer. I believe instinct plays an enormous part in healing, indeed in life in general, if you can only learn to listen to it, if you can really learn to listen and take the time to hear what it tells you. I believe my craving and longing for a dog was my 'instinct' if you like, or sub conscious or inner knowing - many different names for the same thing - telling me this was going to help me heal. So even though there have been times since I've had this new little addition to my family, where I could quite cheerfully have taken him back wherefrom I got him, I smile inwardly because I simply know, without doubt that he is meant to be right here with me and the little bits of stress he causes me are nothing compared to the huge amounts of love he will give me and indeed already does.


  1. I hope your lovely little puppy is doing well - and peeing outside!

    I have a rose for you - come to my site to pick it up

  2. Oh, Jenni, what a beautiful post and I am so with you in what you say. Love is healing and there is nothing that can't be dissolved with it. Dogs are such special spirits, so full of devotion. It is so perfect that you listened to what you wanted and that Otis is there with you in the night. Please know that we are there with you too. For those of us on this side of the pond it is daytime and so often we think of you and send good wishes and love. It all adds up!!

  3. The love a dog gives you is unconditional - when I have really bad days I sit on the back doorstep and Jess knows and smothers me with doggy kisses - or just lies under my desk. It is healing. Otie already knows that and will be there with you. As Charlie Brown from Peanuts always said - Love is a warm puppy!
    love and hugs
    K xx

  4. Jen,

    It's good to see you post!
    I'm sorry to hear you are having pain. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

    Otis sounds like a pure joy.

    Hugs to you & Jack,

  5. he sounds so cute. And I love the name Otis.
    Have you seen the movie Milo and Otis? too cute. Jack would love it. My kids love it.

  6. Otis! What a fabulous name.

    I'm so sorry to hear of all your pain, Jen. It sounds so dreadful, so frightening. I'm glad Otis can provide some measure of comfort.

    Are you still having the surgery? If you do go ahead it will help with this terrible pain, won't it?



  7. Oh Jen... I'm so sorry to hear that you're feeling the pain this badly. Continuing to pray. F**n hate that disease.

  8. I'm so glad you listened to your instincts. Otis sounds like a furry little angel to me! I hate that you are suffering so. And I hate that I am unable to help except to offer you my love and prayers.

  9. Makes me feel all warm inside to think of how much therapy that little ball of fluff is giving you. What a little sweetie.

    Just keep swimming babe!

    btw - you've been tagged.

  10. Jen,

    I am so glad to read that Otis is bringing you some comfort. As always, I am thinking of you....


  11. Oh, Jen! I'm sobbing as I type this. This post totally touched my heart for so many reasons. First, I'm so happy you have that little guy to help you through the toughest of times. What a comfort and you describe it with such beauty! My heart sings that you have found that comfort in such a sweet, furry little friend.
    Secondly, you made me realize how fortunate I am to have my four, yes, FOUR, puppies! They too help me get through some down times and never fail to make me smile when I'm not so happy.
    Bless you, Jen. I wish you pain-free nights and ease of potty-training! :)

  12. My dog is my constant source of pleasure and love. It's amazing how many times a day I tell him. :)

  13. So glad that you have a furry little friend to help you through the pain. Hope it will get better soon. Hugs to you .

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  15. I am sorry your struggling with pain, I will hold you in my heart and pray you have relief.
    I am so happy you have a dog, once I was very ill and in pain for a few days, my pup never left my side. He made me feel at ease with it all. Hope yours helps you and loves little Jack up too!

  16. so glad you have your canine healer and hope your instances of waking in pain in the night and scared of what's to come are few.

  17. Hi Jen,
    Love that Otis! I hope his warmth and love washes away that pain you're having. Poof! Gone! That's what I wish for you.
    Take good care,
    Cate in California

  18. Dear Jen
    so glad that Otis is so good for your soul. Dogs are amazing for that - we have received our final approval for a service dog for our boy, Brody, (6 yrs) old who is autistic. WE have a 2 year wait before we will get our dog and I can't wait for the healing powers and extra added comfort that it will give him. You bring a tear to my eye this morning thinking of how wonderful he is for you all!!!
    Nicky from Canada

  19. Oh Jen he sounds so sweet ~ and it must be so nice to have his puppy snuggles too!!
    I hope you are doing ok.
    love and hugs xxxx

  20. Oh sweet dog. how do they know when you need them so? I had a cat, growing up, that was always there for me as well. Warm and comforting when I was upset. Animals are amazing. Otie. Love the name. It's perfect.

  21. Oh Jen, I KNOW what you mean. Our Miss Daisy gives me so much comfort and love. It's amazing. I'm so glad you have sweet Otis. I hope you don't have many nights like you described, but when you do, I'm so glad he's there to comfort you.


  22. Jen, yes of course you needed this little sweetie pie of a doggy. What a little angel....I'm glad you have some company through the rough spots. Thinking of you.

  23. Dear Jen, checking in (Sunday 14th), and hoping that it's puppy-handling that's kept you busy and away from the blog these few days. Thinking of you.

  24. What a great post, Jen. Animals are natural healers and their love is so pure.Thinking of you

    Meredith in Iowa

  25. Just checking in to see how you are...worried about you, and hoping the pain is staying manageable. Hopefully with your sweet boys and that puppy, you are getting lots of love.

    Take care,