Sunday, May 5, 2013

ALS (Un)Awareness...

Harly and me last summer
One of the things I love best about hanging out with my dog, Harly, is that he treats me the same as he always has because he has no idea that I have ALS.  He still wakes me up every morning to let me know it's time for breakfast and he waits impatiently until I am ready to get up and feed him (or he'll jump over to Dan's side of the bed to wake him up instead).  He follows me around the house, lays nearby when I am on the computer and jumps up on the love seat with me when I watch TV.  He hangs out wherever the food is and tries to sit in my lap, or as close as possible, whenever I have a snack or a meal or anything that remotely resembles a snack or a meal.

If I sit on the floor, he will bring over one of his toys, squeaking it with enthusiasm.  He will put it in my lap or shake it in front of me until I try to grab it from him.  He doesn't care that I don't have the strength to actually hold onto the toy for more than a few seconds as he starts to pull it away again.  No matter how many times he is able to pull the toy away from me, he happily comes back to do it again and again.

Walking on the beach this morning
When we walk to the beach, he follows me into the water and barks happily as he chases me around.  Even though Dan throws the ball for him, he almost always brings it back to me in the waves…it doesn't matter to him that I can't throw more than a few feet, if at all, he just seems happy to make sure I know he's there to play with me. 

Harly is the reason dogs are called (wo)man's best friend.  He doesn't treat me any differently than he always has.  He just hangs out with me, lets me pet him and never needs me to talk.  He is still impatient when it comes to being fed and he is still happy to spend time with me playing the same silly games we have always played.  He still sleeps at my feet and gives the double paw tap to say "It's time to feed me".  One of the best things about Harly is that to him, I'm still just me.

Ready to play ball

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