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January 30, 2012

best dog blog, champion of my heart, traffic sign graphicLilly and I apologize for the sudden, unexplained absence from blogging these last two weeks. Due to a new and difficult stage in our eldercare responsibilities, we cannot promise it won’t happen again, but we’ll do our best to keep afloat and provide some entertainment.

If you’ve not yet LIKE’d our Champion of My Heart Facebook Fan Page, where we sometimes report on such life events, we’ll catch you up on the backstory behind our absence:

  • The first week in January, we caught up on all the email and work that piled up while we were “off” for the holidays.
  • The second week in January, I traveled to Albany, New York, for work and had to stay an extra day due to massive flight cancellations.
  • I flew home, wolfed down some gooey Mexican food, and went straight to bed, only to be awakened by Tom telling me that my mom was in the ER. So, I spent a good part of the third week in January, I hunkered down at the hospital and tried to keep my work and home lives from sinking.
  • Last week, I fought hard to make various looming deadlines and to cope with the next stage in the terminal odyssey with my mom. Suffice it to say that it isn’t pretty. I’m coping, but barely … and that’s causing Lilly sometimes to hide from or avoid me, which breaks my heart.

Essentially, I’m freaking her out with my own high emotion, and that makes me sad. I’m doing my best to protect her from my cloud of worry.

Those of you with sensitive dogs, how have you handled needing to express / cope with your emotions without traumatizing your canine friends?


About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. When I’m really stressed I take my simlarly tempered cattle dog/collie mix out and have her do her most basic utterly simple and routine work (sitting, heeling, following me while I run, and fetching). Nothing that she struggles with. That way she always succeeds, so she gets lots of praise and I feel like I’ve been really successful with her and by the time I’m done I’m less stressed.

  2. Roxanne, I’m so sorry to hear about how rough it’s been. 🙁 I agree with Leslie – when I lost my mom, I definitely could tell that Bella was affected by my emotions (as were my dad’s dogs), but there was no lasting damage to our bond. I think once the rawness of the emotions wore off, she was able to be my rock, in a way.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and sending lots of hugs your way.

  3. I wish I knew how to help. January has been a rough month for you, as have been the last 3 years. And with worrying about Lilly, it’s very painful. Please know we are thinking of you and your family with all our hearts. I hope Lilly’s illness can be diagnosed and treated easily. xoxo

  4. So sorry to hear all this, Roxanne, and now with Lilly sick, you must be exhausted. We are keeping you and all of yours in our thoughts and hope everything works out better for you very, very soon.

    I lost my father 2 years ago and felt much the same way you do about how your emotional state is affecting Lilly. Bella definitely went through some emotional turmoil as I went through mine – she IS sensitive and extraordinarily sensitive to me. But she got past it. Our bond has never been stronger and even though I worried at the time I was freaking her out, she was my stalwart. Dogs are resilient – whatever you two go through now, you won’t ‘damage’ Lilly irreparably for it.

    Thinking of you…

    Warm regards,

  5. Roxanne – I can feel your pain, frustrations and exhaustion as I am caring for my 94 year old Father who happens to be completely blind. This time in our lives is not easy and juggling your life right now is not easy. The only advice I can offer is to put all of your responsibilities down in order of importance and let the ones at the bottom take care of themselves. Let friends pitch in and do whatever you can offload to them. Take care you yourself first and it will all fall into place. What we are experiencing is part of the circle of life. Your Mother knows you love her.

  6. Oh Roxanne, I just heaved a huge sigh after reading this. How I wish I had some wise tip to deal with this. It’s one of my hardest struggles with Maizey. She is SO sensitive to me. She is my emotional empath and will even key into upset before I realize it.:( It’s hard on her. I don’t have many great ideas, but if you know someone you trust enough to walk her maybe enlisting the help of a “Lilly sitter” could give her a little break?

    I’m sorry I don’t have any great ideas. I know with Maizey there aren’t many people qualified to deal with her when she’s at her highest stress so it’s hard for me to send her anywhere for a break, but it’s what our trainers have always suggested. I hope you get some relief soon. And again thank you for your open honesty about your life with lilly, it’s reassuring to know other face what we do.

  7. So sorry to hear about your trials. I bet Lilly is hiding because she does not know how to help. None of us do.

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