So how can a dog inspire me? Very easily. Let me tell you a little bit about Jackie and you'll see.
From 2000-2009 I had Jackie and her half-sister, Crystal - two beautiful Siberian Huskies that I got as "rescue dogs" - that is a a very strange story in and of itself but I'll spare you the details right now (you're welcome 😀 ).
In 2009 Crystal developed cancer somewhere in her body and it was manifested in her lungs. Within a couple of weeks she was gone.
I really wasn't sure that her sister, Jackie, was going to last very long after that since she had always seemed so dependent on her sister and they had NEVER been separated over night.
But that little girl was alot more resilient than I realized. She began to actually flourish with all the attention. And what I realized as the days and weeks went on was, she IS the most perfect dog I've ever had. It's actually funny (if I can get past my guilt) because with the two of them, there was always some sort of trouble in the house (books eaten - expensive medical books have better glue than others I've realized, dead birds and mice brought into the house (and bed), a possum killed in the house, anything and everything chewed up well beyond the puppy stage, etc). I never knew what I was going to come home to and I always got to exercise my vocal cords when I got home. I would always have the opportunity to exercise patience with them too but that never worked.
I figured they were both troublemakers but it didn't take me long after Crystal died to realize that it was all her - Jackie NEVER has gotten into any trouble the entire time she's been alone with me. It's totally amazing. I feel so guilty that I never praised her and blessed her because she was not responsible for any of the problems.
But that's not why she inspires me. About a year after Crystal died Jackie started having bowel issues which included significant pain and weight loss. It was horrible to see her in so much pain. We tried everything and went to a specialist and nothing helped. As things got worse I finally took her back to the specialist one day and was sure I would have to have her put down. But the doctor wanted to keep her in the hospital and see if he could figure something out. Magically he found the right combination of food and pills and then later just food and Benefiber. But she went through so much pain for so long that I admired her courage and stick-to-it-ive-ness. She's been such a trooper through all of that.
Then in the past 2years her joints have started to really bother her and something has gone wrong with either her back or her hips and she has muscle weakness and atrophy (loss of muscle)in her rear end. It's so hard for her to stand up but she perseveres until she gets up. She never cries but you can tell she's not comfortable at all. She still tries to play even though it hurts and it's hard for her to even stand.
Plus, she's developed a mild (for now) form of dementia so she gets lost at times inside the house. But she continues to be a strong puppy and never ever complains.
She's always happy to see me, she always wags her tail and she will still do as she's told even if it takes her longer than it used to.
When I'm having a tough time I just think of Jackie and how hard it is for her to do most things in her life and yet she does them without question. That old gal is tough and I want to be as tough as she is.
I am so very blessed to have Jackie as my family! I love her with all my heart.