Had it not been for Max and John, I would be dead by now. Even with the best therapist in the world, I would still be in a deep possibly deadly depression. My life was turned around when I met Max and John.
They live up the lane from me in a rural area of our little city. Twice daily they took a walk that brought them by my house. When we finally met and connected about eight months ago, I was not long for this world.
After an horrific accident two years ago that ended my world as I knew it I saw no reason to go on living. An 18-wheeler carrying a full tanker of fuel jackknifed and hit our car. We were pushed into a ditch. While I was thrown from the car my family was trapped in the flames. The screams of my wife and daughter will forever be embedded in my mind … that picture cannot be unseen. Other motorists stopped to help and kept me from running into the flames. Their two beautiful souls disappeared in a fireball when the gas tank exploded. The truck driver died on impact. I was the only survivor. I listened and watched helplessly as all three died a horrible death. I don’t blame the driver. He did everything possible to wrestle that out of control tractor trailer away from our car.
That was all I remembered until I woke up in intensive care two days later. My screams brought a bevy of hospital staff running. Even being thrown from the car saved my life I had no broken bones … lots of bruises and some second degree burns from the explosion.
No one said a thing. They let me scream and cry and grieve knowing I remembered every detail of the accident. My doctor shoved everyone out of the room and asked if I needed to talk. She knew I needed to grieve, but in private. She told me there was a therapist on staff that would begin seeing me every day when I was ready to work through the horror.
I could only nod yes and asked to be given something to let me sleep … let me escape the horror of my life and loss.
My recovery began the next day. The therapist was amazing and it did help to talk to her daily. She even went with me to the joint funeral for my wife and daughter. I remember nothing of that day and still have no memory of that day.
Finally, I was able to go home, but still saw my therapist daily. She came to my home and gave me all the time I needed. Arranged a nursing service to make sure I took my meds, had regular meals, bullied me into a daily shower and clean clothes. They also cleaned for me and did the laundry.
Over time I was weaned from daily care and found I could do the basics for myself. Instead of my therapist coming to me, we met in her office three times a week … more if either of us thought we needed more time.
She encouraged me to get outside. Sitting on the porch if nothing else. Going back to work was not even discussed at this point.
Slowly, I found myself drinking my morning coffee on the porch. I could set my watch to the man and dog who walked by at 7:30 am sharp rain or shine. They were an incredible pair. The dog walked expertly on a leash until they reached a clearing at the end of the lane. At this time the leash was released and playtime began. That beautiful dog ran his heart out for a few minutes then played fetch with a thrown stick for a while longer. Turning for home, the dog had freedom to sniff and explore along the way.
Soon I realized they did the same ritual on an evening walk as well. Not as punctual as the morning, but the same routine.
One evening I decided it was time to formally meet my neighbors. Standing by the gate at the lane I spoke when they walked by. Pleasantries were exchanged and I had two new friends. John, the man was a writer and his dog Max was his ‘writing dog’ as he called him.
I introduced myself as Joe, and John told me his father was named Joe and was a fine man. John then invited me to walk with them.
So … the real healing began. I walked with them daily morning and evening. No questions were asked of me and I didn’t feel the need to tell my horror story.
Max seemed to know I needed his attention. He walked next to me on the leash … with me taking it at times. On the way home, he snuggled up to my leg and made sure my hand was on his head or back. He knew I needed his healing touch.
Max wasn’t a trained therapy dog, but he was a dog who could instinctively understand human emotions. With my human therapist and my canine therapist, I started to regain strength physically and emotionally. Soon I decided to try working a few hours a day and to realize I might have a future after all.
Copyright © 2017 Annie
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie