Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Message From Karli's Mom

Hello friends,

Don't be alarmed that Karli isn't writing this today.  She is okay, just a little under the weather. She and her brothers seem to have acquired a bit of a virus but it is not serious.  I thought I would just share a few of my thoughts on Karli and my other doxie babies. 

I grew up in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan and my family always had plenty of pets.  My best friend growing up was my dog Killer. He was an Irish Setter and Lab mix and was my shadow.  Wherever I was, he was.  He would walk me to school and walk me home. He slept with me, bathed with me, ate with me and went on childhood adventures with me.  He died when I was fifteen and even though it has been so long ago I still think of him. 

I grew up (sort of), got married to a handsome Marine, and now have three grown children.  Being a military family, we have moved a LOT!  At last count it was thirteen times in the last twenty-one years.  Our lifestyle was never conducive to owning a dog although we did have cats.  Cats just seemed to need less attention as we were often traveling or living in rentals. 

When we made our last move from North Carolina to Virginia, our family was hurting.  My oldest son was struggling to find his way into adulthood, our youngest a daughter was dealing with puberty and all of the fun that brings, and our middle son was suffering from depression after having to enter into the yet another high school; his third.  My husband and I had drifted apart due to his numerous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and we were both dealing with a bit of post-traumatic stress.  His from going away to war, mine from trying to hold it together for over four years while he was gone.  The benefit to moving this time was the guarantee of no deployments for at least three years.

Shortly after we arrived in Chesapeake, our daughter began asking for a dog.  She wisely noted that we would be in a stable environment, the rental home we were in accepted pets, and that it would be a great time to finally get a furry friend.  My husband wanted a large dog, like a lab or golden retriever but Penny and I agreed that a small dog would be better because a smaller dog would be easier to travel with.  We convinced my husband and in no time we found Austin of Montebello.  Austin was advertised on craigslist as, "Laughter Medicine" and when I saw his picture, I knew he was right for us.  His little face was so cute and his mom couldn't keep him anymore because she was moving to Florida with her boyfriend who didn't like dogs. (Personally I would have gotten a new boyfriend.) It worked out great for us and within a week Austin moved in.  Although he was suppose to be my daughters dog, it took very little time for this lovebug to decide I was his person.

The first night he moved in my husband had made a comfy little bed for him on the floor in our bedroom.  Within three days Austin had found his way into the big bed snuggled up right between us.  My husband melted around him and his gruff exterior and stress slowly eased up when he would pet our new little doxie buddy.  My husband had a tough upbringing and has also beat himself up for not being around more for our children. In spite of everyone telling him he was away for his country and is a great dad, he has carried around a lot of guilt.  This little dog seemed to be therapeutic for him. 

Austin was also better than any pill I could have ever taken.  At this time I was watching an incredible transformation in my kids, letting them go and it left me wondering what my place was in this world.  Austin comforted me in my loneliness and confusion and although my kids teased that he was a "replacement child", they also noticed that I was happier and calmer. 

I have had problems with depression since I was a teenager.  I have had ups and downs throughout the years but this move was difficult for me.  I was turning forty, my kids were growing up, and I was feeling down.  I began to just tick off the days and thinking about death.  It seemed my life was over and although I wasn't crying on the inside I just felt empty and really didn't look forward to anything.  I began to withdrawal and stay in more and more. There were days I thought that I really just didn't want to be around anymore but I worried about who would take care of Austin if I was gone.  I know these are very screwed up thoughts, but that is what happens when you get really depressed; you do not think logically.

In late February of 2012 I saw a picture of Karli on the DRNA website.  I thought she was adorable and looked like she really needed a home.  I showed the picture to my son and he told my husband about her.  Although I really liked her, I never would have pursued adopting her without Joe.  He had been feeling better and better while I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit of depression.  I honestly think he contacted DRNA in an effort to give me something to look forward to.  When we got Karli I was half thrilled and half petrified because I had so little energy that I wasn't sure I could care for her.  A week later she had a seizure and my mommy instincts just kicked in.  Having epilepsy myself I knew how confusing and scary these episodes could be. I knew I needed to get myself together so I could take care of her.  I made an appointment with a counselor and now take medicine to control my depression.  I feel so much better now and I really owe it to Jesus, Austin, Karli, and of course my husband Joe.  I can finally be a good mother to my kids and wife for Joe.

Animals do not judge you.  On days I wanted to just lay in the bed, they would lay with me. On days I wanted to go out for a walk, they happily tagged along.  They never looked at me with disappointment or contempt.  They happily greeted me whenever I came home and showered me with affection every chance they got.  My husband and I discovered a mutual love for these little animals and a new hobbies that include our dachshunds. 

I know that studies have proven that pets are therapeutic but in my life they have been like a daily reminder of good, hope and love.  I have a whole new network of friends (mostly Karli's) and feel blessed to know others are as "crazy" as I am about their doggies.  I truly hope through Karli's blog we are able to express to others how wonderful life is with a doxie.  We want to help doxies find homes and homes find doxies. 

If you have been feeling depressed, suicidal, or just apathetic about life, know that there are people who understand.  If you are a Christian and feel like you must be bad because you are feeling this way, know that it is an attack from Satan and the illness itself making you feel that way.  If you have pets, children, and/or a husband/wife/family, know that you can not take care of them until you get help for yourself. If you are not a Christian, please be assured that God does love you and does not want you to suffer.

Be well and kiss you dogs!

Karli's Momma


www.nami.org
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/depression.html
http://www.webmd.com/depression/recognizing-depression-symptoms/pets-depression

3 comments:

  1. I struggle with depression, and our four dachsies, all from DRNA have helped. My husband has to deal with everything when it hits, and he sees it before I do, rearing its ugly head! Ginger, our first DRNA rescue, was to encourage me to walk daily- instead, she curled up on my lap and gave unconditional love. When we moved to Ohio two years ago, we adopted Chip, and he became my personal security guard. In January of last year we took in Thai as a foster, complete with arthritic hips and a bad back just like me! Last month, we took in Tasha, Queen of the soon to be unstuffed Stuffed Squeaky TOys, and after only 22 hours we had to admit that we failed as foster parents and she now rules the roost and Geoff (and not in that order!) Without the Dachsies With Moxie, I don't know how I would cope, now that Geoff has been laid off without notice or severance.

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  2. Oh Karli, we love this post. My mom and dad wear uniforms too you know, and understand all of this! I'm glad you shared this, not everyone understands it's hard to be on -either- side of a deployment. Thank you for sharing these things, all of them, with everyone!

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  3. You are my hero, Kelly. Thanks for your honesty and transparency. What a blessing you are!!

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