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Just as we arrived at the Vets , Munch decided that it was then that he would perk up. Popping the boot open we were ready to carry his six stone self into the waiting room but he had other ideas. After spending the last two days vomiting, not eating and having zero energy , we kept in contact with the Welfare Officer at Guide Dogs who advised us to have a check up with the Vet. As if he had entered a magical healing portal in the boot of my car, Munch decided that he would make the vet disbelieve everything that I had said was wrong with him by wagging his tail and sashaying his trademark bum wiggle into the room as if nothing was wrong. Just like a child whimpering in pain walking into A &E and running out a short while later after discovering nothing is wrong with them, Munch decided that he was instantly better just like that.

Admittedly, the miraculous healing is exactly what I wanted to happen. Honestly, the night before I was pretty upset and thought that it was more serious that a stomach bug. Munch not eating is unthinkable. A packet leaving the fridge makes Munch appear out of thin air and any dropped food is guaranteed to end up in his mouth before it can ever reach the floor so when Munch does not eat, it is serious. In fact In 5 and a half years it has never happened. Not even the whiff of toast which always gets him up onto his paws had no effect. So when he showed improvements I was ecstatic. A quick anti sickness injection and some prescribed probiotic helped his healing even more and within the day he was back to his Munch like mischievous way . By his third “Munch, No!” Moment of the day, I knew he was going to be totally fine. As the soil from the garden flower bed flew through the air splattering me like rhythmic rain as he dug away just for fun, I secretly loved every splatter as I knew my Munch was back.

Everyone who has ever been blessed to be owned by a pet (let’s be honest, they own us more that we can ever own them ) will know how hard it is to see them ill even for a short while. When you are paired with a Guide Dog, it is at a deeper level as they are with us 24/7 and therefore our lives do not function without them. Whilst worrying deeply about if Munch was going to be okay, I had to try and think practically how I was going to be able to go to work without him. Luckily he was well enough to come to work with me after his appointment with the Vet but what if he hadn’t been? Relying on Munch’s healthy self to help me work a full time job I realised, was an assumption of mine that I had never given much thought to. Obviously, his health and well being is and always will be priority but what would happen if everything changed?

Most of the time, I forget I can’t see as I live life to the fullest. At home and in familiar places I move around with ease as I know my surroundings and can explain in detail where everything is due to the familiarity etched into my brain. I work in four different schools and I know the layout of my rooms so well but getting to and from these rooms without Munch is a scary thought. Working in Secondary schoold with up 1,500 pupils, using my cane would have it’s limits as there are so many obstacles that Munch alerts me to every day that my white cane would not be able to alert me to until I hit something or someone. Living with sight loss in a working environment is not the easiest even with a hairy handsome mobility aid like Munch, so working without one can be a challenge.

Life with a Disability can make you dip into the world of independence and dependence in the blink of an eye. When everything/everyone works well, you work well. When hiccups happen , growth can get a little stunted. Not being able to work due to a sick Guide Dog may not have it’s own box to tick in my Employee Sick Form but it is a genuine reason that needs to be understood. I am blessed that everyone I work with seems to love Munch and I think that they understand that the teamwork we have helps the dream work. A healthy Munch is key to the life I am able to live today and helps me forget disability and focus more on nothing but ability. Fingers crossed the guide of my life has many happy and healthy years ahead of him and I am lucky enough to witness them ❤

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