Are dogs Caregivers?

CJ (a.k.a. Cowboy Junior) was my standard poodle that I raised since he was 7 weeks old. He was one of eight poodle puppies, four were chocolate males like their dad, and four were black females like their mom. From puppy infancy, we bonded immediately. That was back in 2003. Sadly, CJ died on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, 2016…2 months before I was diagnosed with leukemia. Maybe he sensed that I was going to be ill…maybe he sensed he would need to get adopted by another family because of the sanitation rigors of a stem cell transplant. It’s amazing the sense of loss and grief you feel when you lose a pet. I heard his nails on the wood floors…clack, clack, clack. And heard him sigh when he laid down and felt his presence in the house for many, many weeks. To be honest, I don’t miss his silent but deadly flatulence! 

One day, while hospitalized on the blood and marrow transplant unit at Northside Hospital, I dozed and dreamt. I saw CJ in a field of tall weeds, just standing there looking at something. The weeds were as tall as his chin. So I called him…”Hi, CJ!” He turned, saw me, and came running. His ears were flapping in the wind, his tongue was off center and hanging out, and when he came close, he laid his chin on my shoulder and nuzzled my neck as if to say, “Everything’s going to be okay.”                                                                  

So you see, pets can comfort you in times of need, and CJ’s spirit must have known I needed reassurance. CJ the Caregiver.

A few pictures of CJ the Caregiver.


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And meet Chip, my new dog.



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