Parents, When in Doubt Get the Pet

Yesterday was a good day. Ava has now been fever free for 48 hours. She was able to visit with friends and her uncle without worrying about nausea, pain, or headaches. She was included in and made decisions about her care. This gave her ownership over her treatment plan. She received a very sweet care package from HR friends and got the Legos set she ordered. All these things are great and brought her such peace and normalcy.

The one thing that motivated her, the one that got her moving, walking her ten laps around the floor and venturing down to Balducci’s, was her puppy. At work we’re told at every PD event or conference to find out why. To figure out why we decided to take on the career we did. What motivates us. Wesley is her motivation. He is her why. He is the reason she’s working so hard to keep moving, eating when she doesn’t want to, and drinking tons of water. Seeing him is her current goal. Getting home to him as soon as possible is her bigger goal.

So to all the parents out there whose children are begging for that pet, be it a dog or a cat, just do it. Get it for them. I won’t lie and say pet ownership is easy. Yes, you’ll probably fight with your kids and SOs over who should walk him in the snow or pouring rain or change the litter box. Yes, they’ll chew up your things, shed all over, and potentially ruin your brand new hardwood floors. But they’ll also comfort your children when your unable to. They’ll listen to their worries, secrets, and complaints. That pet will bring routine and structure to their lives when it feels like everything else is falling apart.

Kevin has always claimed he wasn’t a Wesley fan. Yet more then once he’s told me how he misses him. He sees the fire he lights in Ava when he says “it will get you home to Wesley sooner”. So parents say yes, that pet fill your child with happiness, bring them peace, and keep them going. You never know when that pet you didn’t want will be your fiercest ally.

6 thoughts on “Parents, When in Doubt Get the Pet

  1. I had leukemia at 26….but, my dog Phoebe was one of my biggest motivators too. Getting home to her was so important to me. And the welcome she gave me was like no other. Make sure you have out your video camera when Ava gets to come home for the first time. Wesley will cry with joy when he sees her. The truth is that he probably knew how sick she was to begin with. I know Phoebe knew how sick I was before I was diagnosed.

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  2. Well…my kids are getting their wish for a dog and they have Ava to thank for it. So tell her not to be surprised when some day soon she gets a thank you card from 3 kids she’s never met before.

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  3. I couldn’t agree with this more. Cheyanne had a photo of her dogs taped to one side of her hospital bed and a photo of her cat taped to the other side. They were her #1 reason for wanting to get back home. The love of a pet is like no other. I’m sure there will be times where you, Kevin, Kohen and Ellie will also find comfort in Wesley during this journey. Pets have a way of knowing when we need them most. I’m so glad you have him!

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