A story of love by Rhonda (and Bliss)
We all love our fur babies. They give us unconditional love, enjoyment and contribute immensely to our health and wellbeing.
A wag of the tail, a slurp of the tongue, we know they love us.
This being mental health week, I would like to tell my story of how I have been affected and how my beautiful girl Bliss, has helped steer me through challenging times.
My late husband, Colin, chose Bliss one month after we lost our dog, Tikka, to Lymphoma. I thought it was too early, we didn’t need another dog so quickly.
However, I was wrong. 14 months after welcoming Bliss to our home, Col passed away. Thinking back, he was so adamant about getting another dog, I believe he knew his time was fast approaching and wanted to ensure I had a dog for companionship. He had been fighting cancer for 5 years.
So, for the last 3 years I’ve had Bliss for company. I can assure you, we have had many deep and meaningful conversations. Fortunately, I usually win any arguments as she usually doesn’t answer back, and she has also trained me very well. Barks if someone is at the door and I haven’t heard the bell, stands in the pantry if she’s hungry and wants something to eat, and has a 4 bedroom “kennel” to rest her weary body.
I tell everyone Bliss is “Col’s legacy, my dilemma”.
I knew our companionship of staying home and relying on each other, was not enough. I had to start walking Bliss again. This was a very stressful decision for me, as Bliss had been attacked by another dog while out walking and I had lost all confidence. I was hypervigilant when I did walk her and if we saw another dog, I’m sure my fear and body language was conveyed to her.
So, I joined Doggie Dates FB page and signed up for the newsletter.
We had only completed 2 walks at San Remo prior to lockdown, but I was really impressed by the advice and support given by other pawrents. You all made me feel welcomed and accepted, even though I was walking at the back of the group as Bliss tended to be a little reactive and I had no confidence in myself whilst walking her. But thanks to all you wonderful people, I have grown in confidence and so has Bliss.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to TJ and the admin staff who organized fun events to keep us sane throughout lockdown. These events were the highlight of sometimes a very dreary day.
I played Pictionary with some members, (who can verify I can’t draw), we had the Olympics and wellbeing telecalls to name a few. By interacting in these events and seeing other member’s contributions on Face Book, suddenly, the loneliness pales into insignificance and you feel part of a brilliant and caring organization which can only improve once we become a charity.