Hannah's Hospice: Life Is Better With A Friend

Hannah and I had a great walk today, which we do nearly every afternoon regardless of the weather. It has been part of her daily routine for many years now, and when 4pm rolls around, she's at my side begging for her walk whether she's sore and tired or not. Because she loves her walks rain or shine, sore or comfortable, they have been something that has helped me gauge how she's feeling throughout this process. Today, she kept up with me even on the steeper hills and overall did very well, but that has not been the case for most of the past few weeks. There have been many days where she's dragged behind me, or started the walk at a good pace but then faded. When she fades a bit I modify our walk to be shorter and avoid some of the hills so she can still enjoy the outdoors without becoming overtired. Her walk is an important part of her daily routine and is important to her quality of life, so I plan to continue on with them and just stay in tune to her energy levels so I can make the simple adjustments that keep the walks enjoyable for her. It is very easy to get sad when I see her dragging on a walk, but I know how important it is to stay positive and just help her as needed.

During a time like this, staying in tune to our pets' needs is very important, since they can't use language to tell us how they're feeling. At the same time, I find that it's important to maintain your perspective and not over read every change that you see. In Hannah's case her mild lethargy could be due to many causes, but as long as it's not getting in the way of her enjoyment of life, I don't worry when it occurs. It's a small change and is something that has come on slowly, not something dramatic that happened overnight. At this point, it's also not something that's getting in the way of Hannah's ability to do all the things she enjoys. At some point, I may need to modify her pain protocol, but for now she's doing just fine and most of the time you would not know much was wrong except that she's getting older.

It would be a lie to say that this past week has been easy for me, but I've made some changes to simplify my life and the reduction in stress is helping both Hannah and I. I stopped watching the news and stopped caring about the news I do hear, and after just one week I already find it easier to be tolerant of my fellow man and more patient on a daily basis. This change in how I spend my time is also helping me enjoy each and every day I have with Hannah, as I focus more on the little things in life that bring a smile to both our faces. Hannah seems to bring joy with her everywhere she goes in life and puts a smile on the faces of everyone she meets, and I'd say that's not a bad way to live your life. 


Until next time,

Dr. Hawk