Thursday, July 27, 2006

p.27 Silent, but the greatest of friend.

It is my hope for everyone that they experience this kind of special friend. Those who love you with one purpose to ultimately show you the greatest unconditional love on earth. These friends listen and hug when they know you need too, they also play and bring joy to your home.

Families of special needs kids really benefit, if they can afford to have a special friend – usually a bit on the furry side, it is the greatest thing! Ours was a sweet Boston terrier named Moe.

Being a terrier he was pretty yappy, well barked a hell of a lot is a much better explanation. He kept me on schedule with his feedings, etc. and he knew the minute his dad came home since he was by the couch in a flash with his favorite tug-of-war toy. My favorite time of the day was watching when he just sat at the end of the drive watching for the girls to come down the long neighborhood street from the bus… he just knew.

It wasn’t a goal of mine to use Moe to teach the girls the responsibilities of owning a pet, I think kids just naturally see these things and they are taken care of (except the poop of course). My husband rarely gets dinner, but I have the dogs food ready by 5:30 sharp – HA – he should be more like a dog… remember the great lines about not judging and they think you are great no matter…hum, husbands might get a few more meals on time if they think a bit more like a dog! Sorry off topic.

Moe basically had issues with Da. I don’t know if he had an intuition of the problems her behavior could cause, and the things that went with them, he just wasn’t as kind with her as the other girls. But once she gave his ears a good rub, he seemed happy enough with her. But by being so basic in their nature a dog can help a family like ours with stability, this might sound odd at first, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

There are some illnesses diagnosed that the patient has issues with small animals, so you would need to check with your doctor if you are considering a pet. I think they are great for bipolar kids, the ones with the non-violent issues especially. When patients are in a low, or depression a dog can be there to share with and make them get up just to open the door. When they are manic, a dog can need some special petting attention requiring them to sit and just be quiet for a few moments. It’s just a few moments, but it’s something.

For mom, having Moe was always special for me in the most profound way! Let’s face it all of us baby boomers wanted our dogs to be just like Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin, even Mighty Dog (or was that just a food?), but what Moe gave me just made all those famous canines just dogs. Moe was a very well behaved dog, we had three living levels in our home and he knew, by powers of father, that he was not to go up the stairs to the second floor - nor was he ever to go to the lower level where my office just happened to be. You know what? Moe never broke these rules, amazing, now if we could only teach our kids little things like this!

I am sure you do not see where I am going with how any of this would be special to me… well it's easy. I was home by myself working most days why the kids were at school and dad at work, and without fail it seemed I would always get one of THOSE phone calls - you know the ones from the neighbor, teacher, principal, supervisor, police station, judge office, justice center intake, social services, parole board… just one of those nice little rings that make the mother of a bipolar child – stomach turn in knots before they are even answered. After I would hang up - I always did two things, the first was I would sob, cry as hard as I could with my head on my desk, then I would make arrangements for me to leave, someone else to go somewhere or for Da to go to the hospital. These arrangements were often the most difficult things I ever had to do.

NOW here is the amazing part.

When I would be bent over my desk crying my eyes out, I would grab a tissue, and there out of the corner of my eye – looking guilty as can be was always Moe. He would always come down (scared he would get in trouble) just to see if I was OK and if there was anything he could do. Now isn’t that a special friend? He didn’t have to say a word; just being there was all I needed. God love him!

Today I had to make another one of those “most difficult” arrangements, you see Moe has been suffering for months now and I knew it was myself that I kept him alive for, he certainly has been miserable. So I had to make the call about euthanasia, I don’t know how they receive these calls because the person on the other end is always a mess, (today Moe as weak as he was, still looked to me when I was crying, it made me feel very quilty). We will go as a family and be with him.

My singing group had the biggest honor to sing for a few people in hospice, what a wonderful thing, just the joy of music and the meaning of the words bring such peace to the patient and the visitors.

We will sing to Moe tomorrow, I would love to do “Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled” by David Hass, but the only song Moe could sing, was Happy Birthday.

This will be a happy day - this is a good decision...

Who will check on me now?

Moe Schott

July 1993 - July 2006

I’m not sure who gets the credit for this; the byline is Paul Harral is managing editor/special projects for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“Doggone good lessons we can learn from canines”

Things we cam learn from a dog

1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
4. When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
6. Take naps and stretch before rising
7. Run, romp and play daily.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal
10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle him or her gently.
13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
15. On hot days drink lost of water and lie under a shady tree.
16. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
17. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
18. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout Run right back and make friends.


Blogger Lilly said...

I haven't visited for awhile, and have only just now learned about your sweet Moe. I just want to say that I'm sorry, and that I hope things are a little easier now.

1:27 PM  

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