10 September 2012

A Day of Remembrance for Chimette

Met Guides me in harness- early partnership
Five years ago today, my life changed forever. I had no idea how I was going to survive beyond that day. It was the day that Chimette, my awesome side kick of nearly 11 years, stepped out of my life.

The days that followed were unbelievable. I could not imagine how I would ever be able to function as a whole person again. Over the years, Met had adapted to my disabilities as much as I had to them by providing me with skills that I never would have considered needing when I first began training him. When he was gone, so was my strategy for functional living.

As hard as those first days and weeks felt in terms of my functional skills, my heart was turned to raw mincemeat. The loss went far deeper than just skills I lost. As an individual with MCS, I had no physical friends that I could visit with or do things with. My animals, but especially my service dog were my family, my firiends, my everything. I had lost my birds earlier that year and now I was literally alone for the first time since 1992.

Eventually I learned to pick up the pieces and adapt a bit- albeit awkwardly to my limitations. I knew I would eventually adopt another dog to train as my successor, but I could not imagine how I could bond with or work with another dog that was not Met.

It took a while, but I came to a place where I realized that Met would want this for me- Met would want me to be happy, to move on, to give another dog a chance to truly shine.

And that is what I did- little by little I let Thane worm his way into my heart, into my life, into the position that Met once held

But even as it is a special thing with Thane, there will never be those first exhilarations as I watched and experienced how much a service dog could become for me, could change my life and my outlook on life

Though moving on was the right thing to do, I take his journey and all its lessons with me. They are afterall a part of who I am today- why I am the way I am and most especially why Thane is alive and getting healthier each and every day.

Met lays on the grass in the sun on one of his last really good days

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