Thursday, 10 October 2013

Bravery!

If you’ve been coming here for any length of time, you’ll know about Indy being diagnosed as a puppy with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) and how we came so close to losing him. I wrote an article about it which appeared in Dog’s Monthly in November last year (“Wasting Away - Focus on EPI, a digestive disease.”)

This is him with Oakley, (who is a week older than him) when they were very small. Oakley used to look after him when he was ill, snuggling up to keep him warm. Much prettier than the flowers that used to grow in that tub! Oakley is deaf now, but he still has that lovely way of looking at you.



Indy was a funny little pup. Stairs scared him. He could go up easily enough, but coming down was another matter.  He was nine months old before he took that first tentative step down the stairs. Once he realised he could do it, he was fine.

I’ve always said that he’s a bit of a wimp. But the thing is he isn’t a wimp. He’s very brave. Everything he’s ever been afraid of in his life, he’s overcome it.

Being scared of things doesn’t make you a wimp and it takes a lot of courage to face your fears head on.

It’s a year since he was diagnosed with diabetes (which is a complication of the EPI so we always knew it could happen) and he’s put up with twice daily injections, blood tests etc with no fuss at all.

When he lost his sight earlier this year, watching him negotiate the stairs was terrifying. He’d stand and carefully inch his way to the top then make his slow way down. Sometimes he’d misjudge where he was and end up in a bedroom.

Occasionally he’d go to walk in a bedroom and end up on the stairs! I put a baby gate across the top so I’d have time to get there and go down with him. He slipped a few times. Now and then he’d misjudge where he was and turn before the stairs did, banging his head on the post.

Now I watch him go down the stairs and he does it slowly and carefully, but sure-footedly (still have my heart in my mouth though). A textured doormat at the turn tells him when he’s reached the point where he has to change direction.

It occurred to me the other day as I watched him coming down (having first negotiated his way past Fizz who was lying on her back at the top waving her paws at him) that it must take a tremendous amount of courage to do it. But he never hesitates.

I’ve tried doing it with my eyes closed and hanging on to the banister which is scary enough, but he has nothing to hang on to - once he's committed that first paw, there's no going back.

I’ve long since taken the baby gate away and he’ll often go downstairs without me even noticing he’s gone. In fact he makes his way round the house and garden with such ease that you wouldn't know he was blind.

In his quiet way he's a brave old thing.

He used to be frightened of children too!







46 comments:

  1. Oh got such a lump in my throat. Beautiful post and such a tribute to Indy, Teresa. And yes, it does take such courage to overcome fear doesn't it, it's so easy to do these things when you're not frightened. It happens with people too doesn't it - it's so easy to misjudge. Fabulous photos too :o) xx

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    1. Thanks, Sue :-) I made a list of all the things he used to be scared of - and it was a very long list and it made me realise just how brave he's been. At one time when he was very small, he used to scream if another dog so much as looked at him (but don't tell him I told you) :-) xx

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  2. Aww, Teresa; that's got me in tears.
    Tim 'n' Ted say Indy's their hero.

    xxPat

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    1. Aw that's lovely, Pat - Indy loves being a hero - big hugs for Tim 'n' Ted :-) x

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  3. Yes, going downstairs when you can't see, can't hold on and have four feet to trip over is pretty brave.

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    1. Four feet and a mad kitten, Patsy! It's a wonder she hasn't tripped him up, but he takes it all in his stride :-) x

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  4. That's one pretty amazing dog you've got there, Teresa.

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  5. What a lovely post, it makes you realise how much we take for granted. I can't imagine Molly without her sight, but I guess animals (and humans) can adapt better than we think, given the right love and support. Lovely photos too :o)

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    1. Thank you, Karen - I think you're right, they constantly surprise us with what they can cope with (and that goes for people too) :-) x

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  6. He is such a brace little fella and a lot of us could all learn a lesson from him - I know I could.

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    1. Oh Colette, you've been VERY brave with all you've been through and staying positive - I think a lot of people could learn a lesson from you! :-) x

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  7. Such a lovely post. Surely it would make an article and a story and a book - Adventures of Indy. He deserves a medal.

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    1. Maybe I'll write it one day, Lynne x

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  8. I thought it was a lovely post too Teresa, and what a lucky dog Indy is to have you to look after him.

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    1. Aw thank you, Maggie. I think I'm the lucky one :-) x

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  9. Indy is so special. What a moving post, Teresa, and heart-warming pictures too. You are both lucky to have each other. xxx

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    1. Thank you, Joanna. He is such a dear, he really is and he has a heart of gold :-) x

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  10. Aw, that's such a lovely post, Teresa - I'm sure Indy feels very loved. Great photos.

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  11. It's lovely to read about how the dog has overcome his fears. I'm impressed. We had a few kittens took up residence out the back of our house for a while recently. We were unable to tame them and had to let them go and we do miss them. It was such fun, watching their antics.

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    1. The kittens must have been lovely, Maria, I expect you do miss having them around x

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  12. So painful, I also have a blind pet, my 17 year old cat, and it breaks my heart seeing her struggle to find her way...But, as you said, they eventually manage to adapt...

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    1. It's hard isn't it, Petronela, so sad about your cat, but they do adapt eventually x

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  13. Awwww Indy. And lovely Oakley. And Fizz! Awwww I don't care if people think I'm a crazy ol cat (and woofie) lady - but I truly think with all my heart that animals really show us silly humans a thing or three about courage, love, optimism, forgiveness, second chances and enjoying life no matter what!!

    Take care
    x

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    1. Wear your crazy cat lady badge with pride, Kitty :-) I consider it a compliment ;-) All you say is so true about our lovely animals :-) x

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  14. Aaaw... Bless the lovely boy. He's done so well, with all his challenges in life. But he knows that he is loved and that is the most important thing.

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  15. What a lovely heartfelt post, Indy's such a brave boy

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  16. Penny and myself are truly touched by this story. And Indy, true love forever.

    Gary X

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    1. Aw, that's lovely - Penny is a lovely little lady :-) x

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    1. Aw thanks, Caroline - he is very lovable :-) x

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  18. Wishing you a lovely weekend, Theresa, Indy, Fizz, Oakley and Little Beans! :-)

    Take care
    x

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    1. Thank you, Kitty - hope your weekend is lovely too:-) Mine has improved somewhat since yesterday - had to take a poorly Fizzlet to the vet, but she is feeling better today :-) x

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  19. You are very lucky to have such wonderful companions Teresa, but they are even luckier to have you... :-)

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  20. Teresa, this made me cry. We are so lucky to have such lovely canine (and feline - sorry Fizz!) companions aren't we? What a wonderful brave dog Indy is and how lucky he is to be loved by you. Take care, all of you. x

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    1. I didn't mean to make anyone cry, Lydia! We are so lucky aren't we - they bring so much to our lives :-) x

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