Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

To those who read my blog on a regular basis, you will know what an advocate I am for animals, especially Schnauzers. This week has taught me how blessed I am to have such kind and loving animals. My oldest mini-Schnauzer is not a rescue. We adopted him from friends who had a pregnant schnauzer ready to give birth. On the day they were born, we visited to select  our baby. As I touched each of the precious three that were available, one in particular responded with a sweet moan when I touched his ears. The family had named him Piglet since he was the biggest of the babies. Six weeks later, we brought Sir Shakespeare Hemingway home. Like most schnauzers, he is protective of me, territorial and nourishing of his mommy. This week has proven that! As you know, I’ve been sick off and on since October. Getting weaker this week, I went back to a new medical care facility — NASON MEDICAL CARE. I highly recommend them! Two days ago, Shakespeare had enough of gating in the kitchen area. When I told him to go in the gate, he refused and darted towards my bedroom. There, he stayed. Refusing to move. He wanted to care for his Mommy! He remained by my side all day, until my husband came home. He simply refused to leave me alone. Licking my hands (something he rarely does) he looked into my eyes, as if to say, “Mommy, I’ll take care of you”, then he raised his body toward me to hug. Tightly, his little paws went around my neck, hugging me for a long time while looking in my eyes. We were communicating. I could feel the power of his love and his fear that something was really wrong with his mommy.  Every day since, he hasn’t left my side. Always there while I am coughing a dreadful cough that appears to come from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. A cough that feels like I am fighting desperately to grasp just one more breath of life. When I struggle weakly to walk into the kitchen for water and coffee, Shakespeare is beside me. He waits and watches for me. He doesn’t ask for a treat. The look in his eyes is a serious look — ‘Mommy are you Ok? What can I do to help you get well?’

All of this unconditional love from a dog some would say. Well, if you’ve never experienced it, you haven’t a clue what you are missing. Animals have a way of communicating with those who love them and are connected to them. While writing this, Shakespeare is resting by my feet. When I cough, he lifts his head to look at me. When I pat him on the head, he lays his head down, understanding that for now, I am OK. Such unconditional love is so strong. I am so blessed to have such a kind, loving mini-Schnauzer that wants to share his life with me.

This week as I battled for strength, I have learned it is OK to allow my husband to care for me. This illness has gone on for much too long. As a hard-headed, opinionated woman it is difficult to ask my husband for help, especially when he offers it. Something he doesn’t normally do; nevertheless, I have learned that I cannot always be the tower of strength looking over my loved ones. Sometimes I need to allow others to care for me, regardless. This lingering illness actually scared me as I continued to flop my body onto the bed, weak, afraid and sometimes alone since my husband was working. I’ve never been in this position before — where I was too weak to cook a meal, too weak to sort and wash laundry and too weak to vacuum the house. In all reality, I was almost to the point of too weak to breath. Yes, this week I learned, from the powerful caring eyes of a canine, that others really care about me, and it is ok to reach out to accept their love. Lessons learned, through the eyes of love — my precious Sir Shakespeare Hemingway and the generosity of a husband who is not exactly domesticated, but loving me enough to learn. Happy 2013!

One thought on “Through the Eyes of Love

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