Let me start out by saying this story isn’t what you think. I am not going to drill you about having more patience. I’m not going to say it will make you accept your loved ones, co-workers or neighbors. This story of why having more patience should be your only New Year’s resolution is about being kind to yourself. It is a goal I consider to be important for everyone who is the 24/7 caretaker of a special needs pet.
The idea for this resolution came from pet mom Susan G. who left an insightful comment on this website. Susan commented after reading a story about a paralyzed dog.
She said, “I want to encourage anyone who has a pup like this (handicapped) to relax and give yourself time to adjust.”
Susan and her family adopted a 10-year-old paralyzed Chihuahua mix named Foxy Brown. The 12lb. dog was hit by a car five months before Susan adopted her. The accident left Foxy Brown paralyzed and incontinent.
Susan’s comment made me realize that people put “too much” pressure on themselves after their pet suffers a traumatic event. They want to instantly become expert caretakers, but that isn’t a realistic goal. They overlook the need to give themselves the gift of patience.
Each week I get emails from owners who want to know “everything” about taking care of their newly diagnosed paralyzed pet.
Their intentions are noble and I send them lots of information. But in the back of my mind I wonder how much of the information will make sense to them at this early stage.
When people take time to adjust to their new situation they are better able to comprehend information. They are better able to find solutions that suit their pet. Every case of paralysis is unique. Patience will give you the time to find: the right supplies, a knowledgeable pet sitter, or the closest rehab center.
Even if your dog requires immediate care, it is best to learn the basics from your veterinarian first. Then take time to fill in the details. I assure you that having more patience is your best bet to establish a good lifestyle for you and your pet.
With patience Susan discovered that Foxy Brown benefitted most from the rehab facility at the University of Minnesota. She also found that Huggie’s diapers (with a hole cut out for the tail) kept Foxy dry and the suspender outfits from Barkertime kept diapers in place.
By having more patience Susan learned that an infant changing table is easier on her back when she has to express Foxy’s bladder. And she discovered how a baby Pack “n” Play could be a safe and dry place for her dog to sleep.
Today Foxy Brown can move around her house most of the time without the use of her wheelchair. Her family considers her to be the “easiest dog” they have ever had.
“Because we express her indoors there is no need to go out in a rain or snow storm,” said Susan.
Foxy Brown even travels with her family and she is currently out-of-town. When the trio returns, they plan to adopt another little dog in a wheelchair they recently met.
As we start 2017, I hope you’ll consider adding more patience to your life as a caretaker. I send my appreciation to Susan for inspiring this New Year’s resolution! You can read her complete comment here: Taking the Mystery Out of Doggie Diapers.