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Dog with a disability.

As a work at home mom, we often talk about how our family benefits from making this choice. We just don’t talk much about how it also benefits our pets. Particularly dogs. parents of dogs understand just how much attention and care goes into being a pet owner.

My children are not the only ones who benefitted by me working from home. Our family dog, Ashes, did too.  Especially in the last few months. Allow me to explain a few things so you have a better understanding of what Ashes meant to us.

Ashes was a birthday gift to my older son in 2006. As a child, he was bitten by a Rot/Chow. He recovered physically but emotionally, it took him years before he would even go near another dog. Our son was a teenager diagnosed with depression. Ashes helped my son through some dark times. He helped all of us through so much by just being him. Dogs know when you need support.

Cancer Sucks!

2016 brought many health challenges for Ashes. He turned 10 in October and we realized there was something seriously wrong. The swelling around his carpal bone increased and the anti-inflammatory medicine wasn’t working. X-rays showed he had Osteosarcoma in that carpal joint and it caused the two fractures. One appeared to be a crack that would probably fuse itself but the other appeared to be destroyed. This 86 lbs Lab/Shephard was going to need help but how.

My husband came up with an idea of how to make a brace for him to provide support. Yes, there are braces you can buy, but let me assure you there was not a brace that was going to work in this situation. We searched and they were not going to accommodate his issues. Since the tumor was growing at approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch weekly, We often had to make adjustments to the one we had. It worked and he was okay with it. It didn’t stop him from doing what he wanted to do.

The Quality of Life.

His quality of life was the only thing that mattered. It was about him and not us. I did researched, joined Facebook groups and bought dog cancer books and through it all, I came up with a plan. Even though he was already eating good dog food (we had an order on auto-ship), we added the suggested foods and turmeric to help him fight and make him more comfortable.  Cooking these special meals and medications which led to going outside approximately every two to three hours around the clock was all for him. There is no way I would have been able to keep this up if I had a typical nine-to-five job. With five of us in the home, we all helped even with work and school. I was the one constant caregiver for him because I was always at home. My business had to take a back seat. He was a priority, just like my children.

Time is Precious!

We knew our time with him was limited as he developed yet another wound from this damn tumor. This one we knew we would not heal and disrupt his quality of life. Up until this point, we were managing the pain, he was still eating good (more than ever, playing and still wanting to get to the squirrels, especially the ones that would come to our sliding door and tease him.  We now had to make that heart-wrenching decision to end his journey. We were with him in the end, because we owed him that. In my research, I also found an article that was a letter to all pet owners. It stated that when you drop off your pet and say goodbye and leave, they turn and look for you and it is heart-breaking to watch as they provide your animal with comfort in their last moments.  As much as this hurts, I was glad that we were all there make him feel loved in the end.

Being a work at home mom, allowed me the time to be with him when Ashes and my family needed me. Having a job outside of the home, would not have permitted me to take time off for him or my kids. For that I am thankful. I am truly blessed for being able to have experienced this kind of unconditional love. Not everyone has this option available to them, This is just our story and how we feel. Being a work at home mom has been one of the best decisions I ever made. It wasn’t always easy, but it was the right thing for our family.

Hug your children and your pets a little longer and a little tighter because we are not promised tomorrow.

Linda xo

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