The long national nightmare is over for our four furry children. Mom’s back!! During Marilyn’s nearly two week stay at Beth Israel Hospital for heart surgeries, the dogs almost seemed to be grieving. They were quiet. They had to be cajoled to eat. They refused to play all the games that are part of our usual days. Obviously, the past two weeks were anything but usual for the four legged and two legged members of our family. Our spirits had dimmed. Anxiety was high. Each new hospital report cut through our collective morale. It all changed with Marilyn’s surprise weekend rehab therapy work. The projected extended PT schedule was cancelled and we brought Marilyn home late yesterday afternoon.

The dogs usually greet family members with exuberance and enthusiasm. We were concerned because Marilyn is still in the early stages of recovery and very sensitive to any body contact. When we allowed the dogs access to Marilyn last night, they were very tentative. Later, they crowded around her but kept their distance. The two terriers joined Marilyn on our love seat  but were very careful. Dogs have a keen sense of when their humans are hurting. They are protective rather than playful. When Marilyn fell asleep while watching TV, the dogs dozed off. When she woke up, they opened their eyes looking at her. When Marilyn’s pain and breathing issues rose, the dogs made moaning sounds. When Marilyn’s pain subsided and her breathing improved, the dogs visibly relaxed.

Today, Marilyn’s first full day home, the dogs took to barking and romping again but kept a respectful distance from Marilyn. One of the Terriers, as I write, is nestled at Marilyn feet. It’s her favorite spot. Nan is Marilyn’s dog. She’s the one who was most out of sorts during Marilyn’s absence. Bonnie, our vivacious Scottie, is lying atop the sofa, comfortable in her watchdog spot. We believe Bonnie has her own Facebook page. She monitors all street activity and is, I believe, captain of the neighbor dog watch committee. She periodically cocks her head back to make sure all is okay with Marilyn.

The big difference came at chow time. I filled the four food bowls and summoned the kids. They raced into the kitchen, eyed their dishes and scoffed the food down, barely pausing for breath. Everything was okay again. Licking their lips and barking with satisfaction, they raced towards the doggie door, pausing briefly to make sure Mom was okay and then dashing outside to do their business.

Marilyn smiled as the kids sped by, nodding her approval and satisfaction that she had returned a sense of normalcy to our furry kids’ world. Reality set in with a jolt of pain to Marilyn’s right arm which sustained muscle damage during her hospital stay. She winced, muttered something I couldn’t hear and then leaned back to wait for the pain subside.

The dog day afternoon continued with the furry kids outside loudly informing neighbors that Mom was back. Marilyn’s pain gradually subsided and we hoped the rest of her first day home would would allow us to enjoy each other’s company. Beats the hell out of making conversation in a hospital room.

Categories: Family, Medical

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28 replies

  1. So happy for you all. Kiss that woman gently, from her WP friend,


  2. Guess I can eat my dinner happily now, too!


  3. So great to hear that things are going well. Yes – dogs have a keen sense of things. I love that about them. And – I like their therapeutic affect too.

    Thanks for keeping us in the know Garry.
    And – take it easy Marilyn.

    {Hugs} to you both! 🙂 🙂


  4. I’m glad Marilyn’s back home. It sounds like the fur kids are content too.


  5. I’m so happy for you and those to sweet furrykids, that Marilyn is back.


  6. What a relief for you (and the pups!) that Marilyn is back home! I know I always feel better when I’m home and can get some puppy love, and real conversation. My best to you both!


  7. And so it’s a dog tail day, huh? 😉 I believe it was Eisenhower who said… It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. That thought has run through my head often the past few weeks.

    It being dog tail day, and me being a collector of words and cartoons worth cherishing, here’s the perfect one to suit you, Garry, and also why Mrs. Armstrong can rest easy…

    The press is a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can’t be right all the time. He doesn’t bark only when he sees or smells something that’s dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious. ~ Dan Rather

    Here’s to another uneventful day with the pack… rest, eat tasty biscuits, sleep, love, and laugh. xoxo


  8. My heart hurts for Marilyn, hugs to you both.


  9. Forward, keep moving forward! Keep the good news coming.


  10. This brought a tear to my eye. Glad Marilyn’s on the mend, and two and four legged friends can relax a bit. Our dog’s love us more than we deserve sometimes.


    • You are so right about our furry kids. They deserve every biscuit begged for. And, they are so very tenacious in their love. They are following Marilyn into the bathroom to make sure all is okay. Me, I’m a little shy about that sort of thing.


  11. Dogs are so very receptive and respective of us humans. I’m glad they didn’t attack Marilyn. And by the word attack, I mean jump up and lick. But then I’m used to pugs now. Although when I was really sick and just out of the hospital we had a St Bernard, Golden Retriever among others.

    I bet it does feel good to have her home and no hospital thwarted conversations.


    • Yes, it’s great to have Marilyn home, Cee. Evenings are are still the worst as the pain level rises and the meds don’t do all that much. Hoping it gets better for her soon.


  12. I’m glad the furkids are getting back to normal. I know how much their routines can get disrupted when they are worried or missing a human parent. I’m glad the family had a pretty good day despite the pain Marilyn is experiencing.


    • Hey, Teddy. Marilyn is in a lot of pain as I write you. But there’s only so much the meds can do. It’s up and down for her. Typical I guess for someone recovering from her kind of surgeries. Wish I could wave a magic wand.


  13. Fantastic news! The blogosphere is happy, too!


  14. Being home is a much better place for conversation, food, and healing. What’s better than four furry dogs worshiping at your feet to let you know that all feels right with the world again?


  15. What a lovely, moving post, Garry. I felt quite weepy as I imagined the Furry Children’s response to their Mom, and, indeed, as I ‘saw’ Marilyn’s smile. I do hope the muscle pain fades very soon. Ali xxx


    • The furry kids always bring smiles to our faces even when things are not going well. It’ll be awhile before the pain really subsides but Marilyn is happy to be home. So are we. Thanks, Ali!!


  16. Sounds wonderful. All is “almost” what it should be, right?


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