How Bodie saved me. #ChronicDepression #ChronicIllness #ServiceDogsForChronicPain #CPTSD #ChronicPain #AddictionRecovery
After finding myself addicted to pain killers following a chronic illness, I went into recovery.
All I ever wanted was a dog but committed to waiting until I had more time under my belt.
My fiancé decided to surprise me on my birthday with a trip to the Salt Lake City animal shelter. He felt I was ready after a year of sobriety, I wasn’t so sure, however I went in.
We walked in looking for a 40 pound dog that didn’t shed. Instead we found a dog that didn’t bark like all the other dogs. He looked so sad in his kennel when he looked up at us.
He was underweight at 62 pounds and we could see his bones. Flies had eaten away the tips of his ears. He had a bad limp. He had kennel sores on all of his limbs and his belly. He had a botched neuter and it was severely infected which was causing him a substantial amount of pain.
They asked us if we wanted to take him out of the cage. I feared it would cause more pain but he seemed so eager to meet us and show us what he could do.
We brought him into a little area and he seemed to be managing his pain ok. I wanted to see if he was ok around other dogs, he simply ignored them. I asked him to “shake” then “sit” he did both immediately. I then asked him to get up on the the table. “Up-up” and before I could realize this might hurt him he was up there and had this look of contentment. I was impressed. He knew it too.
At this point it was 6:00 p.m. and they were closing the shelter for the weekend. I wasn’t even too sure if I was ready to take on the responsibility on having a dog. What if I relapse? What if I fail? What would happen to him?
Then they put him back in his kennel and he looked at me and he.. howled. I put my hand to his paw through the cage and knew then, he was mine. I left with a very heavy heart that night.
All weekend I was worried about him. Then Monday morning came. We were there before they even opened.
When they brought him out to us he looked so happy, wagging his tail and in my mind he had a smile on his face.
I brought him home and cared for him.
As my recovery continued to move forward I watched Bodie grow into a dog as I grew into a human. When he discovered what a toy was was about the time I discovered I could laugh, i mean a true, belly, sober laugh. When he found he trust, so did I. Where he found a loving home and family I found myself engaged to a wonderful man who has many amazing children. My family came back into my life completely.
That 40 pound dog turned into a happy 100 pound dog that sheds mountains of fur and I love him immensely.
Life is good today. I am still clean and sober and continue to grow.
Life, truly, does not get any better than this!