I cannot ever forget the moment when I held him in my arms and in two minutes he was asleep. He was this tiny furious thing – 28 days old puppy. He felt comfortable, he felt at home, he felt in the embrace of his mother.
Little did I know or realize, this puppy – this sweet cute puppy will become my life.
We had decided to get him home because my husband always wanted one as he had given away his previous dog to his friend as I was allergic to dog fur but now we decided to go for a short haired dog and to make my husband happy, I said yes. My medical condition is not hidden; it takes most of my days and nights and only few months is when I feel better and can do my favourite things. But it doesn’t matter that I am sick or I am better – he stays with me wagging his tail and with that beautiful gaze in his eyes.
We’ve been through everything together since the 1st of January 2016. We’ve have moved multiple times, been through hard times, taken road trips together, taken hundreds and hundreds of treatments and numerous hospital admissions.
He’s been right there next to me all this time like a companion- Soul mate and in return I’ve done my best to be there for him.
I wish I could say that I’ve taught Jigar more than what he taught me over these years, but that just wouldn’t be true. He has not only been the Companion I sought but a Healer who helped me in healing myself.
There have been many times when my friends, relatives, doctors asked me to give him away, as pets aren’t good to around with especially in my condition. Trust me I feel I already have improved because of HIM and now MISHKA. He helped me climbing stairs, walking, playing in the park and my breathing attacks also reduced .
PLUS in my bad times, if I needed anything, it was – motivation. Motivation, to get out of my bed, my house and exercise more and more than these things, someone to be with. Someone who would accept me unconditionally and Jigar has been my biggest motivator for getting me out and moving. Even on my worst days, I know I may not feel like getting out of bed but I do – because he NEEDS to see me walking around the house or else he will stay there continuously with me which is not fair to him.
I’ve never known energy and love like this existed until he came into my life.
And now he has a little partner called Mishka, who is 10 months old to take care of as well. She started copying him but the bond I share or he shares with me – might take time to develop with me.
So those who say CFers should not keep pets- I AM SORRY. I say we should get a pet if we have any chronic Illness. Just maintain hygiene; thats all it takes. They make you a better person. Love your life. Live it fully- They teach you patience and compassion.
When Mishka saw me sick and on IV for the first time, she sat with me as if to assure me that she understood. Now and then she will come, see how Jigar is sitting next to me, not troubling or jumping on me, then she will sit on the other side and sit there – in silence.
When I look at them, I feel it’s how my life was planned to be – Why do I have CF in the first place. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your day to day life routine and then forget to look away from what you’re doing. A week can go by and I’ll realize I haven’t just stopped moving once and taken care of my health, the way I should have. And looking at these beautiful buddies, they are like a reflection of my current state of mind. If he misbehaves that means I have been spending less time with them –
I know that his behaviour and mood is a reflection of mine and that he’s almost like a gauge of how I’m doing and when I need to slow down and step away from all of it to remember what life is really about.
This all may sound alien to you as it did to me 3 years ago but it’s all true and its how they make me feel.
I won’t say I don’t take precautions of keeping them clean, removing their hair constantly from the beds, couches, carpets. Having a dog, or any animal means that your home isn’t always going to look perfect. That you’re going to leave the house with a fair amount of dog hair on your clothes. That your car is going to be covered in dog hair. I forget how much dog fur is there in my life until I have guests over and then I see it’s all over. So you need to keep your home and them cleaned as much as you can.
He was trained for walks, playing and obedience, but he was never trained for hanging around with me. He would fall ill when I was about to fall sick. He would not eat his food, when I was about to get hospitalized. He would feel lazy when I was not in high spirits. He still prefers to be right by my side, and for the most part I love it. Having CF or any chronic illness can feel so isolating at times and it’s easy to feel alone, even just with the routine things. Friends and family are great but he is there for me in those quiet personal moments, when I’m by myself, and he’s a constant reminder that I’m not alone. When he runs/walks he runs/walks as fast as he possibly can. But when we run/walk together he pushes me to go the extra mile possible. Jigar never leaves me on my own. He’s the thing I’m always running or walking toward, just a few steps behind him, and following his path.
I plan my travels according to him. We sit in parks doing nothing; go for swims or just simple drives. He keeps me smiling and makes me feel safe in and outside in this world.
His persistence is something I admire. Whether he’s chasing after one of the many red squirrels that frequent our lawn, or playing fetch with a ball, or catching a ball- Whatever it is, he never gives up. He sets his mind on something and there’s nothing that can stand in his way, really, nothing. He sees the light at the end of the tunnel and just goes for it, no matter how impossible or impractical. With CF I have days when I wonder why I’m doing all the things I’m doing if I still end up sick so often. It’s so easy to throw your hands up and say you tried and just walk away. But then I see my dog sitting in the kitchen staring at the ball- waiting so patiently and attentively, for someone to fetch and start playing with him and I know, like him, eventually the effort and the waiting will pay off, in some way.
There are very few people or animals that he has met that he hasn’t liked. He is an eternal lover boy and full of life. Love and playing just reenergizes him.
It’s the same with CF, having people around you that you love and that love you is just as important as doing your treatments and taking medications. If your heart isn’t full than how can you expect your lungs to be? I’ve found that the health of my heart and my lung go hand in hand. Find the people/things/animals that make you happy, that they fill your heart, that make you laugh uncontrollably, and hold them tightly.
People with CF are always going to be faced with a number that Wikipedia or our doctors give us that tell us how long we’re expected to live. I ignore that number. It means nothing. Look at these beings, who have only few years to live but how they live. Let’s give our best to life and leave the rest to the creator.
Read our story- Arouba’s Jigar and Mishka and tell me yours in the comment section below.
#cysticfibrosis #livingwithpets #CFandpets #cferwithherdogs #arouba #yog #yogini
:-) A seeking one.
By profession, a Wellness Coach for Physical and Mental Health, Certified Yoga and Pilates Therapist, Grand Master in Meditation, Traveller and a Blogger