In Target the other night, a woman behind me in the check-out lane thanked me for training Belle. She told me about her seven year old grandson who was in a wheelchair and how she hoped someday he'd be able to have an assistance dog. She also asked "The Question" - won't it be hard to give up my dog?.
I'd like to turn the question around for a moment and ask, "how hard is it to give up an ability?"
- Losing the ability to walk on your own - to go wherever and whenever you want to go.
- Losing the ability to feed yourself - savoring the tastes of the foods prepared - the way you like to eat them.
- Losing the ability to use your hands to write, to draw, to fix, to create, to feel all the amazing things that exist in our world.
- Grieving the loss of skills others around you take so for granted - yet becoming invisible in your grief because those around you may be uncomfortable with your dependence.
- The joy in regaining your independence.
- The joy in new abilities made possible through an incredible partnership.
- The joy in knowing that every day there is at least one being in your life that will always see you as the whole and capable and visible person you've always been.