This one hurts to write. As I sit here in the sunny (vaguely windy) Fiji, I find my mind constantly wandering back to this one consuming thought… When we return home, our beloved Husky will have to be put to rest.
On our first day in Fiji we learnt that she had a malignant tumor growing, the kind that even treatment can’t help. She’s only 6 years old.
This breaks my heart for many reasons. The main one being that I have never met such a beautiful soul before. She found a place in my heart the moment I met her. But also for another reason… She has been my constant comfort and companion through all my battles with my health.
So many Saturday night’s in I’ve spent with her snuggled up to me, because I’m simply too unwell to go anywhere. I’d feel lonely and guilty for not being able to go out with my friends or boyfriend – not being able to party like I used to love. But there was one comfort… I wasn’t alone, not while I had her asleep beside me.
The sad fact is, loneliness is a huge factor in illness – mental and physical illness alike. It’s a very personal battle that no one else can relate to, because all our battles are different. But I always found one light in that darkness, and that was Tikaani. When I was sick or in pain (which, let’s face it, is daily) she was there right by my side. I know some people don’t think dogs can sense those things, but she sure could.
I vividly remember her walking slowly and gently beside me as I trudged up the stairs after an Endometriosis surgery, and how she carefully laid down next to me on the bed, careful not to touch me. Or when muscle aches in my legs were so bad one night that I couldn’t lay still, she laid on my legs which miraculously helped the pain and I fell back asleep shortly after. That one moment convinced me to invest in a weighted blanket* which has been amazing in preventing that pain and restlessness getting too bad at night.
What will I do without that? It really is a scary thought. One I’m struggling to think about. The comfort pets can bring people with chronic physical and mental illness has suddenly become very clear to me. Something I didn’t quite appreciate sooner. That loss will be absolutely profound.
Even as I sit here typing this, I still find myself unable to fully comprehend this fact, and I strongly feel for all those who have had to suffer similar situations. I would like to show appreciation for all those beautiful animals that give love and comfort in times of pain and illness, and who never fail to be by our side when needed.
Here’s to Tikaani – the beautiful, kind, and loving soul I was lucky to have in my life for what felt like the briefest of moments ❤
*Note – I strongly recommend weighted blankets for chronic pain and restless leg syndrome, even insomnia. Happy to recommend a certain type or answer any questions. Simply contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.