Ever since I have been home from surgery, guess who has been glued right next to me…
You guessed it: Reesie, the fourth child.
It different than usual, though. Usually, Reesie sits in your lap to be petted. As soon as your hand stops, the nose returns working its way under your fingers hoping the strokes will continue.
But now, sitting here with my cast, my foot elevated, she just sits. Reluctantly she will go out to the bathroom. Quickly she will go downstairs to eat. But then she is right back by my side, alert and ready to keep watch.
In a funny way, it reminds me of the ministry of presence. I remember in Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness, he speaks of the ministry of presence during his depression. One of his friends would come over each day and rub his feet for 30 minutes. Most of the time they didn’t even talk. It was just the fact that this friend showed up… faithfully… no strings attached.
Can animals be that perceptive? Do they really know what we need? I remember now that Reesie’s dad, Casper, is a therapy dog. Animals bring us so much comfort, love, and joy. When I wake up in the middle of the night waiting for the pain medicine to kick in, I am grateful to my friend that is glued to me, licking my toes.