My funny Valentine…

I am often asked about my #spooniedog, Georgia Grace.  She is still my feisty, stubborn, and adorable sidekick.  On days when I hurt, she has been very protective.  This is a change since my cat Lola passed.  Georgia was always the “world’s worst nurse” but has slowly become my greatest comfort as I’ve been battling a broken foot and broken toes.  I wrote this piece as the final thoughts to her book Making Lemonade with Georgia Grace. Happy Valentine’s Day Georgia.  You are my heart.

 

My Dearest Georgia,

You are my hero. Every day, you have positive attitude even when your little body is dealing with so many issues. Being your mommy has never been easy, but it’s always been wonderful. So many people think having a dog with so many illnesses would be sad. It’s really not! You have a personality that is larger than life. I never met a dog who loved going to the vet as much as you do. You walk in expecting a party each time we enter the door. I guess I am lucky because we spend a lot of time there! I think the only thing you love more than people is your love of food. I will forever cherish the memories of you waking me up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays in order to go to Dunkin Donuts for a treat (even though I have to drag you out of bed during the work week!) You obviously hate that I am a vegetarian, so you take it upon yourself to knock on the neighbors’ doors when you smell them cooking meat. Heck, our neighbor, Sharon, even made you steak nightly for a week!! Our neighbors really love you but I am your biggest fan! Your face lights up when I walk in a room and if I am ever sad, you just lean against me to give me comfort. You truly bring joy into my life.

I originally wanted a dog to help me be more active and mobile. I also live with multiple autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis. I faithfully take you for daily walks to keep my body moving. Ironically, our arthritis makes us walk with similar gaits and the similarities don’t end there. I take 12 pills a day, you takes 16 pills a day. I take one shot a month, you takes two shots a day. We both have skin diseases that can’t seem to be cured and sadly, we both struggle with pain management. The similarities are endless. It’s obvious to me that you were meant to be mine.

Our worst time was when we both broke our legs two days apart. We both needed to have surgery. I left you with my parents for 3 long months because I couldn’t take care of you. Each night I would FaceTime with Grammy and Grandpop and you would run to the phone to “chat” with me. I missed you terribly and still remember the joy I felt when you came home. I know you were happy that day, too.

You have been such of comfort to me when dealing with my own chronic illnesses. Having a pet that is also chronically ill can be both a blessing and a curse. You inspire me to never give up and to focus on the positives in life. Our life together is not always easy, but it is very full of love. Georgia Grace, your main purpose in this world is to give love and receive love. Lucky for me, I am the one who gets to love you, and be loved by you, the most.

 

Love Always,  Mommy

IMG_9756
Photo by Pet Imagery by Lauren Kaplan Photography (click for her site)

Georgia lives well with syringomyelia, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, chronic dry eye, chronic ear/eye infections, and chronic dermatitis.  It’s a lot to manage, but she makes it all worth while.

 

Check out Pet Imagery for amazing pet photos!  (link under the photo)

Posted by

Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

5 thoughts on “My funny Valentine…

      1. I had the surgery on ednesday an I am slowly recovering. I have had a rough time these past few days, but yesterday I felt better so slowly recovering.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s