Many of you have been wondering what has been going on with me over that past several months. I am so thankful for all of your kind notes, calls, well wishes and thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time for me and my family. I am happy to report that I am recovering well after my second operation January 20th and back to work on a more regular basis. But, as I have always said to my loyal readers, I would always be honest and up front about my life and the pets and people in it, so here is what happened on a beautiful day in June eight months ago.
I was dashing out of the Paws4Claws offices to get to a meeting on how to grow our website for pet lovers where we sell cool pet-themed fashionable and functional merchandise, home decor, decorative accessories & fine gifts to save pets, fund no kill rescues & support organizations that rehome & retrain shelter animals for placement in furever homes through our Paws4Claws donation program.
In my haste and excitement to hear new thinking on viral marketing programs to spread the word on our donation efforts. I missed the top step of a staircase with 15 foot-high, 2ft. wide hardwood stairs. Having suffered two seizures in my life, I don’t know if I fell as a result of clumsiness or just bad luck. What I do know is that with every step, I heard the cracking of my left elbow breaking, my shoulder separating, my hip contusing and watched as my beloved dogs looked from the top of the stairs at me in hopelessness, fear and confusion. And then I hit bottom, real bottom. Both mentally and physically. My two dogs, Bailey, the Briard, and PAWS, my Bernese Mountain Dog, slid down the stairs right after me. Funny thinking about the sight now, but at the time I thought I was hallucinating and believed the stairs had actually dumped all of us to the bottom, like a sheet being tossed in the air before it is folded.
As I lay in a crumpled lump at the bottom of the staircase, only my dogs were there to comfort me. I was alone if not for my two closest friends. And that’s when the licking began. Non-stop licking. Bailey and PAWS licked me from head to toe as if to try to save me with kiss. Bailey’s, gentle and sweet. PAWS’s lick, strong and powerful, lapped up whatever blood was dripping around me. Then, miraculously, as I tried to crawl to a phone a great distance away, PAWS pulled on my good arm’s sleeve, tugging me across the hallway. Bailey kept up the licking patrol.
To cut to the chase, I had four hours of surgery on a broken arm and shattered elbow that had to be put together with plates, screws and pins that left me with a arm that they were not sure would fully function again and 24/7 pain requiring heavy medication. After six months, it was discovered that the hardware implanted was incorrect and my arm would not be able to move and function normally and had to be removed. Here is a picture of the hardware that no one could believe was all installed in my tiny little elbow — neither could I!
I had to go through two more grueling months of Physical Therapy, which I lovingly refer to as Pain & Torture to get me ready for the new surgery. My shoulder had to be unfrozen from lack of movement (a third surgery they thought I might need but fortunately do not!) and I can only describe it as having someone dislocate your shoulder three times a week while you lie there crying and thinking childbirth really wasn’t so bad!
Anyway, the surgery was a success. Here is a photo of my new scar — not too pretty but glorious in all that it stands for:
So back to the original question — Is A Dog’s Lick Really A Kiss Of Love? I am not going to give you a scientific answer here. This is just my opinion based on my experience. My dogs licks are most definitely kisses of love. They kept me going through my darkest, scariest moments when I was in agonizing pain, alone and waiting for help for more than 30 minutes. They never stopped kissing me until my husband and daughter got home to rush me to the hospital. And they have kissed me through my surgeries, sleeping next to me, never leaving my side. Bailey at my feet and PAWS next to me with his head on my good shoulder.
You don’t have to have any formal science background in dog behavior to know that at least with my dogs, those licks were kisses, kisses of love. And I will be eternally grateful they were there with me on that June day eight months ago.
I love you too, PAWS and Bailey,
Your Furever Mom