A couple of days ago, I posted about how dogs can improve our mental health.
What I didn’t do, is talk about just how many of those things my boy did for me.
Jet was something special.
Now, no dog is ever “just a dog”, but some dogs…when they find the right person, they not only bloom, but they push their person to bloom too.
By himself, Jet was an anxious dog.
By myself, I am an anxious person.
He struggled, I struggled…but put us together and it was like adding scaffolding to a building.
Jet drew his confidence from me and I found my comfort in him.
The one thing I’ve always been confident in is my ability to work with and understand dogs. That gave Jet the confidence he needed to bloom.
In turn, Jet’s confidence in me gave me what I needed to breathe, to know that no matter what “it” was, I could do it.
When Jet worried, he would come to me, sit close, and rest. Just my being with him gave him what he needed.
When I worried, I would sit with him. He would lay his head on my lap with a deep old man sigh as if to say “I know” and “I get it”. And the thing is, is that he did and in that moment, he knew that I needed nothing more than the silent warmth of his heavy head on my knee.
In those moments together, I fed his soul and he nourished mine and we both knew that even though we would have to face our demons again, we would always have those moments at the end of the day to recharge.
Now that Jet is at the bridge, I still talk to him. I still tell him about my day. I still ask him his opinion. I still give him running commentary on TV programs.
And while I know that he’s still there, somewhere, it’s that quiet old man sigh, the readjusting of his head as he lay on my knee, the warmth of his heavy head, the comfort of his being that I miss.
He may not have been a therapy dog or service dog or even a dog with an official “job”, but he was my dog and I loved him more than I could ever put in to words.