Sunday, September 27, 2009


Puppy Power

My sister and her husband got a new puppy as a gift from my brother and his wife. Her name is Gracie and she is a Boston Terrier. My brother's family dog Chewie had just had a litter of new puppies, and the family wanted my sister and her husband to have the "pick" of the litter.

People get new pets every day, but what is extraordinary about Gracie is that my brother-in-law, who suffered a devastating stroke two years ago, rode four hours away to meet my brother's family and help pick out which puppy should be theirs. This is the first time he has made a trip of this length and the first time he has eaten at a restaurant since the stroke. He was so excited about going that he was able to overcome a lot of fears that have been almost as disabling as the stroke - fear of strange places because he can't see well, fear of falling in unfamiliar terrain, fear of pain from riding so long.

My brother-in-law seems to be talking more and is more animated just in the last day since Gracie came home. Gracie seems to be able to tell that his paralyzed side is more sensitive and sits quietly by his good foot, waiting to be picked up. He says she already likes to watch football with him. Their four cats are not so sure they like Gracie yet, but are keeping their distance and watching.

It is amazing what a difference a small little puppy can make. I hope this is a not a one shot try on traveling for my brother-in-law and my sister, and they will be able to take on a few challenges like riding to go visit his daughters and his grandchildren, and maybe an occassional outing to a restaurant. These may seem like insignificant freedoms but when you have been homebound for so long it opens up an entire world of possibilities.

So I'm saying "Goodnight Gracie!" to baby puppy and sending loving vibes her way, hoping she keeps muddlin' through!


  1. What a touching story about the healing power of animals :)

  2. I agree! Gracie is transporting my brother in law out of the shell he has been sheltering in since the stroke. Now he's not the guy with the stroke, he's the guy with the cute new puppy and he has all kinds of things to talk about!