11:22 AM

Jack, the amazing handi-dog

Every morning my day starts off the same way. Wake up. Pee. Go fill up a water dish with room temperature water, and place it on 2 stacked softball bases that lay on my living room floor. I then make me way back to my bedroom to wake up my best friend. As I enter the room, I usually serenade him with his "wake up song" so that he knows it's going to be time to get his ass out of bed. It goes something like this (in a very groggy, "i just woke up" and off tune voice) "Good morning, good morning, good morning my Jackie boy, Good monring, good morning, Good morning to you!" I then lay on the edge of my bed, give him a good belly rub and scratch behind the ears. I then whisper in his ear "are you ready to go pee?". Jack makes his best effort to stand on his 2 front paws. Once he is on an upright position, I grab his torso and scoop up his 65 pound frame in one full motion. Right hand under the sternum, left hand supporting the butt area. I then stagger to the back door, quickly slip on my flip-flops (lifting 65 uneven pounds while keeping your balance first thing in the morning is NOT an easy task) and make my way out the back door. Once outside, I gently place my buddy on the ground. He always, without fail, makes an attempt to smell the grass around him. I have to remind him that it is "pee time" and to stay still. He listens. I then lift his hind quarters, feel around for the small balloon above his genital region (a.k.a. his bladder) and squeeze it with my ring, middle and pointer fingers of both hands. The tricky part of this is directing the urine that shoots out with reckless abandon. On good days, I'm able to point his "member" where I want the urine to go and zippity do, I'm done. It's that easy almost never. What USUALLY happens is, I grab his bladder squeeze and just hope for the best. The result is Jack and I getting both of our feet soaked in urine. Yes people, I know... gross... but true. The piss comes out like a sputtering sprinkler system to which I have no control. Oh well... so it goes....

So who is Jack? At this point you should be assuming he is my dog (the only other choice may be a very underweight grandparent with poor bladder control and a taste for belly rubs, to which you would be incorrect). About 2 1/2 years ago Jack (a pit/terrier mix, at least that's what I think he is because I adopted him) slipped a disk in his back and went paralyzed in his hind legs. $10,000 and a major surgery later, I was left with this handsome and sweet handicapped dog. Life has changed pretty dramatically since that all went down on December 28th, 2007. Not only because of the aforementioned morning routine, but just how I live, what I do, and where my priorities are. But til this day, I maintain that that was the BEST investment I have ever made. The love, joy, and happiness that I get in return every day makes that financial, time and love commitment sooooo worth it.

Jack is usually at home laying on one of his huge twin size beds that lay in my livingroom floor. If he has somewhere to go, well... he goes. He'll just drag his hind quarters from here to there and from there to here. The real fun starts when he is dragging and crapping at the same time. I have Jack on a pretty good "crap schedule" so that I know when the goods are coming. But every now and then, especially when he gets excited, he'll do the old drag and crap. This usually results in a crap smeared floor and a crap smeared dog. And like I said before... so it goes...

One of the biggest joys of my life is when the weather turns nice, and I can put the Jacker in his fancy Doggy wheelchair. He loves being outside. He's not much of a mingler, as he likes just sniffing anything and everything that he deems interesting. Sometimes he'll get in such a deep "sniffing zone", that he won't be paying attention to where I am. I usually take this opportunity to hide behind a tree (It's probably a good thing I didn't have any younger siblings). Once he lifts his head to notice I'm nowhere to be found, he goes into complete panic mode. He'll start darting his head all over and whining. At this time, I usually jump out from behind the tree screaming "Jackson!" The best part is when he sees me, he'll tilt his head skyward and run towards me as if he hasn't seen me in years. Holy shit, I love this dog.

It's amazing what a man can learn from his dog. Jack was a great dog before his injury. He was fast, obedient, loving, playful, gentle and patient. Since the injury, none of these things have changed and you will never hear a complaint. You will never hear a depressed whine or question his will to live. It was just "OK, yesterday I had hind legs to use, and now... not so much... that's cool, let's roll with it (pun not intended, but kinda is).... Why can't we be like this? Why can't people, for the benefit of their life and well-being, look at things optimistically when life throws them that inevitable curveball? We whine, bitch, complain and make every excuse to why we can't do things. We ARE capable of making this point-of-view switch, but something holds us back. Why can't we just flip that switch and do what is better for ourselves, out family and our life? We CAN, it just takes some readjustment of perspective and a renewed commitment to re-wiring our brain on how we look at things. I am continually on this journey to shift my perspective, and I've learned so much of this from one simple, handsome dog. Thank you Jack for teaching my how to "roll" with things better and thank you God for the experience.


ALEXIS said...

Love this post, love that dog, u should continue this post a little more to the length of ohhh, let's say.....a book!?

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