The World of Rehabilitation-A New Beginning
It has been almost six years since we first opened our rehabilitation center. Over those past six years, my rehab patients have changed me and for the better in so many ways. I came into the veterinary field twenty plus years ago with the intention of helping animals and doing good. It was not until I was able to experience the world of rehabilitation that I realized that my pet patients were also helping me, but not in a way I would have every imagined.
A Lasting Impression
The majority of my returning rehabilitation patients are older dogs dealing with a chronic condition such as arthritis or neuro-muscular weakness. Mixed in are my post surgical dogs that are with me for 10 weeks or so and then move on to regular doggy life. All of them, young or old, sweet or sassy, and walking or wheeling in a cart have left a lasting impression on me and how I want to live my life.
As a rehabilitation therapist, I am finally able to have quality one-on-one time with my patients and really get to know them and their people. I can see what they are dealing with day to day as their mobility changes and their families adapt to their needs. Watching the relationships between these challenged pets and their owners is inspiring. With this time to become more involved and aware during the rehabilitation process, I have realized that I want to live my older years like my patients do. They truly have such an amazing outlook on life. It is difficult not to be inspired by them.
Living Your Best Life- Dog Version
Here is what my rehabilitation experience has taught me about living your best life (dog version):
1. Every day that you can be with someone you love is a great day.
2. Sometimes you just need to power through the pain to get to the good stuff.
3. Be happy with where you are today.
4. Don’t get stuck on what you used to do but can’t do anymore. The stuff that you CAN do is awesome.
5. Age is just a number. Be the puppy that you still think you are.
6. Gray hair, don’t care. I still look fabulous.
7. A little attitude will get you pretty far when you are challenged with old age changes. Live life sassy!
8. Be free with your affection, wag your tail even through the bad times, and keep your loved ones close.
Continuing My Rehabilitation Journey
I love my rehabilitation patients and all of the valuable lessons that they have taught me over the years. I now have a great outlook on life and am living my best life, doggy inspired. We all can learn a bit from our animal companions. So, as I continue on my journey through rehab land, I hope to make as much of a difference in the lives of the patients that I care for as they have inspired in me. Live your best life- doggy inspired.