Not a dog’s life… It’s a Mom’s Life!

Sometimes I wonder if there is more I could do… the girl and the boy are growing up quicker and quicker. They spend more and more time away from our pack (which IMHO should still not include the cat.) When they get home in the evenings be it school or sports, they are tired and hungry, they need fed and the day discussed, homework checked, then bed. By the time my owners finish their day, all they want to do is collapse into bed… they look at me and say “it’s a dog’s life Jack…Goodnight.”

It’s tough enough raising children, my poor mother had 9 of us to deal with, but that’s another story, tougher still if one person can’t carry a full share of the load. If the father is travelling with work, tired, or having a bad Parkinsons day, then it all falls on the Mother, most people don’t see it, but I do because I watch her.

From 6:30 am to 9:30 pm every day, she plans and produces school lunches, breakfast and dinner. She organises laundry, cleans the house… and then goes out to work!! She does not complain, she just get’s on with it. She is not the one that is sick, but she carries the largest load. Sometimes when she is alone she sheds a few tears, I put my head in her lap and she knows that I love her, she stands up and smiles and says “Jack Dog I love you”, I think to my self… not a dog’s life… It’s a Mom’s life, now how can I help her?

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Ask him how he is…he won’t bite and neither will I.

Ask him how he is...

Hi my name is Jack. I am a working dog. I received no special training like a guide dog or a police dog. My job is to help my owner, he has Parkinson’s Disease. It’s not a secret, he doesn’t hide it, and he knows how difficult it can be for you, to ask him how he is…he won’t bite and neither will I.

I see how tough it is for the people that love him, when the day is a struggle, walking is tough and his hand is shaking. You don’t want to ask him for fear of the answer, or the tears that may come. It’s easier for me, I am a dog; I put my head on his lap and he knows that I love him.

When I first came to live with him, it scared me, I couldn’t understand why some days he was fine and others seemed like a disaster. I loved him unconditionally (it’s a dog thing!!) but did not know him or why this was happening. I gradually discovered that he still likes the things he always has, rugby, sports, reading, wine, history and bizarrely cats. I slowly (I am a dog!!) realised that the disease had not changed him, that his greatest fear is to be defined by the disease. He was always candid, direct, quick to laugh, the changes you see are him maturing. So if I can see the man that he is and always was, so can you. Ask him how he is…I promise he won’t bite and neither will I.

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Sometimes he walks funny…and people stare at him..

Hi my name is Jack. I am a working dog. I received no special training like a guide dog or a police dog. My job is to help my owner, he has Parkinson’s Disease. Sometimes he walks funny…and people stare at him.

I was 7 when I met him and his family 3 years ago, there is a Mum, a boy, a girl, a cat and him. The first thing I noticed was that when he was tired or working too hard he his right leg would get stiff and his right arm would shake. Sometimes he walks funny…and people stare at him.

I am a dog, so I cannot not ask him what’s wrong, is he sick, will he get better? So I help as I can, I always walk on his right side so that if he gets stiff I can but my shoulder to his knee and this helps him to walk better. Sometimes he freezes and cannot get his right leg to move, he stumbles, if this happens I put my head to his knee and give it a push, this gets him moving again. Sometimes he walks funny…and people stare at him.

Why do people stare at him? Are they afraid? Parkinson’s Disease is an invisible condition, they see the symptoms and draw their conclusions. I am a dog so I see the husband, the father, the friend, the provider; I see my master. Sometimes he walks funny… and I make him smile.

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