I know that we are fortunate to have such a remarkable little dog, especially one that we adopted knowing nothing about him at all. He was truly a mess so I really got lucky in convincing my wife to accept this total fixer-upper of a dog. Once we got him cleaned up and sorted medically we couldn’t believe we’d wound up with such a cute dog. We’ve heard many people say he’s so nice to us because he knows we rescued him. Ummm, okay. I don’t know if that’s true but it sure fits. Having him around this summer has been beneficial to say the least. I’ve always told folks he’s a magic dog with several stories ready to be told when people ask “How so?” This summer he’s written another entry in his list of palmarès
This furry little doofus has been with us through so many challenges here in New Jersey. I could post (and probably will) many pictures here to honor him but these will do for now.
I would urge anyone recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to spend time with a dog or cat – but only if that pet has the right temperament. Dogs, cats and other pets can be wonderful companions in the recovery process but they don’t work for everyone. There are many reasons for that and what I would then say is to do what you can to maintain your support network that much more. I would also urge friends and family of the TBI patient to spend that much more time with them once they are transitioned to outpatient status. Even if no one visits you in the hospital or rehab facility the staff and patients provide some activity to distract you. Once I got home I really felt the isolation and without Keegan it would have been much worse.
As an integral part of my domestic support team he kept me company and gave me reason to get going enough to be able to just walk him. For a 15 pound dog who doesn’t pull on the leash he was still very difficult to walk and I needed help. I must say that while he was a handful in the early days he had a peculiar effect on one of the problems I had this summer. I had a tough time processing sensory input and formulating my replies, stuff that could be lumped together as aphasia. The hesitancy drove me nuts and when I finally would get the words out I’d often say the wrong words. Let’s just say that people had to be very patient with me.
I soon realized I didn’t have those problems when I would baby-talk Keegan. All the silly things I would say over and over to him through the years were like a song I knew by heart. I suppose it was pretty funny to hear me speaking those goofy things so easily to him when I was struggling to have a conversation with a human. I should have had all my conversations with Keegan on my lap and just say everything to him instead of the person(s). My baby-talk voice might have gotten old though.