Those of us who have dogs know that they are synonymous with friends (usually family!). Buffy was five years old the 7th. Believe it or not, we found her on Craig’s List. We consider her a rescue dog because she was obviously mistreated. She was seven months old when we got her and she was a nervous wreck. She is still afraid of most people and shakes like a leaf when she sees a car or someone near the house. Other than that, she is a spoiled, rotten brat!
We gave her an oatmeal bath (which she hates) so that she would be clean for her birthday. She sat in my lap most of the day. My lap and her pillow are her favorite places to be. Like most of us, she is pretty much set in her ways and does not like too many changes to her routine. Unfortunately, normalcy is not always possible.
Buffy is very allergic to fleas. This summer, because of the very mild winter we had, the flea population exploded. Although we use flea shampoo and a popular flea preventative, she is still prone to get fleas. Because of this, Buffy has had to become an inside dog. She has had a hard time adjusting to this and often tries to run out into the back yard when the door is opened. Once she gets a flea it is very difficult to get her back to normal. She gets raw places on her where the flea has bitten and cannot seem to quit scratching even when the fleas are killed. Thus, we had to start not letting her go outside.
When Buffy first came to live with us she was so scared and shy. We lavished her with a lot of love and attention to try and make her feel at ease. As she began to trust us, she started to want all of our attention. Once she realized that there was another pet in the household, she developed a strong resentment towards him. Hadji, our eighteen year old Indian Ringneck bird, accepted her as part of the family with no problem. Buffy began to notice that we would take a bite of what we were eating to share with Hadji and she became more and more jealous of him. Once, when he was outside of his cage and flew on the floor, she lunged at him and we had to quickly grab both of them for fear she would hurt him. We are now very careful not to let her near him if he is out of his cage. When we feed Hadji treats, she just glares at him and pouts. She has not accepted him as her “equal” but she knows he is here to stay.
As a person who deals with the ups and downs of MS daily, I realize how hard normal is to maintain. I have to be ready to adjust to whatever each day brings. This is true with anyone with an ongoing disease and/or disability. No matter what we have planned for each day it can often change in an instant when symptoms change or become worse. These times of adjustment are no respecter of holidays or chores that need to be done. A shopping trip must be cancelled if we cannot walk that day. Answering emails or other correspondence has to be put off if our brain refuses to process information that day. Cooking and cleaning are cancelled if we are shaky or unable to hold things that day. Going out for a nice meal is re-set on a day we are having problems swallowing. There are many more that I could name, but each has their own set of problems and upsets to their schedules.
Older people that I would talk to when I was young always told me to enjoy my youth and do all that I could because one day I would not be able to. Well………….that day has come! Partly because of getting older and partly because of MS and Crohn’s Disease. I am trying to adjust to all of them, but sometimes get very frustrated with the process. I think another symptom of MS should definitely be frustration!