Sadie and Jack, two dogs, are a constant companion, good friend, caregiver and protector for an elderly woman and a disabled woman.
A dog is man’s best friend
Well, I wish dogs could talk. My daughter Julie, swears her Jack Russell Terrier, Jack understands every word she says to him. I hear her talking in the next room. When I ask her who she is talking to, she tells me it is Jack. I ask her if he answers, she laughs, and says no.
But I can just imagine what he must say if he would talk. Jack is Julie’s best friend. He is very protective of her. He follows her around the house all day. If she leaves the house, he mopes around until she gets home. If it is for several days, he won’t even eat. His eyes are very sad. We have many “Jack and Julie” stories to tell. Anyone who knows us knows what I mean.
Dogs are great company for old people, and they say some nursing homes allow their residents to have a pet. I think that would be a good thing. But they would have to hire a person to just be the “dog-cleaner-up-after”.
My Aunt Clare who lives in Georgia, and is 81 years old told me something this week, that made me realize how important pets are to old people.
Clare was living in a little one-bedroom apartment in a retirement village. She is not in good health, with heart problems mostly. A few months ago, she was in the hospital quite awhile, in very serious condition. She got better, but the doctor told the family, she could not live alone. So, her son Michael, who lives in the town that she lives in, decided to rent his little house out, and rent a big 3-bedroom house, with 2 baths so his mom could come live with him and his black Labrador, Sadie. Clare loves her new home with Michael and Sadie.
Sadie has taken it upon herself to be Clare’s protector and companion. She sits at her feet during the day, when Clare is reading, watching TV or sits in the kitchen nearby, when she is cooking or eating. When Clare goes to the bathroom, she sits outside the door to wait for her.
At night, during the middle of the night, Clare wakes up to Sadie jumping on the bed beside her, with a squeaky toy in her mouth. Clare said she would say, “Not now Sadie.” And pat her on the head for a little while, then go back to sleep. Sadie jumps off the bed, and lies beside the bed all night.
Sometimes Clare feels her jump up, put her paws on the side of the bed and just stay there, but Clare can hear her breathing, so Clare reaches out her hand and pats her head several times. Sadie doesn’t want to go outside, or play, she wants to make sure Clare is okay. After Clare patting her for a little bit, Sadie will lay back down on the floor beside the bed and stay there till morning.
I think Sadie wants to make sure Clare is okay. Because a few weeks ago, Clare had an episode where she couldn’t breathe, and Michael was alarmed and took her to the hospital where she was for about a week.
But now that she is home, Sadie is her constant companion, friend, nurse, and caregiver, don’t you think?
I wish dogs could talk and I could hear what Sadie would say to my Aunt Clare.
“Are you okay? I want to make sure you are still breathing. Okay, I will be here right beside you if you need me. I’ll go back to sleep now. See you in the morning”.
They say that a dog is man’s best friend. Sadie is Clare’s best friend these days.Jack is Julie's best friend these days.