We shared a little bit about Mother's Day at Grammy's but we wanted to share just smidge more. Henry was so much more relaxed at Grammy's for this big adventure than he was at Christmas when there was a house full people then, too. (Sidenote: Henry stops at Grammy's house almost every day for some lovin's and a few Goldfish crackers. He does very well there when the house is quiet.) When the house is full of people, he maybe would be a bit stressed. But this trip was good not only from the socializing aspect but from the settling aspect too.
Henry found his water bowl and settled in front of it. He knew that was a good spot. Eventually he also finally fully relaxed once Grammy went into present opening mode. He fell into a side sleep position which we know to be as fully relaxed as he gets now. Granted, it was not long lived, but it is just another indication of how Henry is just improving each day!
We know we can get long winded with the blog lately, so we will give a short version for those in a rush. For those that have time for the all in version, we will offer that, too. So, here is the short version: Henry is truly making a come back (He says, "Don't call it a come back because I never left!")
Now, the longer story with some analysis. There are 2 Henrys. Traumatized Henry (TH) and Almost Healthy Henry (AHH). There is pun intended that the Almost Healthy Henry's acronym spells ahh. It is literally a sigh of relief. Anyway, TH behaves anxiously. TH falls into a routine of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD). TH is quick to have his world crumble at the first sign of routine being broken. TH melts down when he is home alone. That's TH. TH is still a sweet boy but he is distracted by the demons in his own head. TH wants to relax and be AHH but he struggles with all the changes that have happened over the last year. TH misses his siblings, wonders why they are not there; misses his vision, wonders why it has failed him, struggles with why he can't navigate with ease anymore. TH is not as trusting as he once was of his OBP peeps. TH is depressed and sad.
Now for AHH! AHH has learned to mentally map the house. AHH has also gotten better with mentally mapping Grammy's house (it helps that the 2 homes are laid our similarly). AHH no longer has to compulsively go in an out 5-15 times before bed time before he can settle for the night (he's down to 2-3 times on average and if he's really pooped, then it's just once!). AHH has gained the ability to be a bit more patient when he realizes that he is home alone. Instead of immediately melting down, he will go potty, get a drink of water, settle somewhere, check again if someone came home, yelp for help but then settle again and attempt more patience. AHH has become confident on walking outside and picking up cues such as where paths change texture (no grass to grass, low grass to tall/weedy grass, concrete to mulch, etc.). AHH is coming to terms with the loss of his siblings. His depression is lifting. His physical and overall health are improving. His mental health is also improving. He's able to enjoy things that he'd once forgotten (like lounging in the sun, chewy sticks and long walks).
We knew that his healing would take time. We planned on that investment. We actually both over estimated this and under estimated this. In some regards we expected him to get better pretty quickly (like get used to being the only dog and after his cancer we thought he was going to be ok after a short time). But then once he had the seizures and the brain issues and then also went blind he really went even more down hill after that and I am not sure we thought he'd ever get any better. (It was probably our own depression and helpless/hopelessness that made us feel that way. Time may heal all wounds but how the heck do you get THROUGH that time to see what the other side may look like? We were struggling.) But now, AHH is doing better than we truly expected. And we only expect him to keep getting better! We see how good he is doing and we want him to do GREAT! And we just know he can! We think TH is almost gone. AHH is here for the most part and we are looking to the future with just good old H.
So, here's to Henry! #HenryStrongAllDayLong #HenryIsGettingBetterAllTheTime #HenryIsTheComebackKid
We are not really sure why we call the stroller the Solsey stroller. We bought hoping that Solsey would love it but she never really did. Actually none of the pugs really came to ENJOY the stroller. Benny and Luna grew to be ok with it for short distances when they were super pooped. And now, Henry being the last pug standing (and walking) has maybe finally seen the light when it comes to the Solsey stroller.
Henry went for the mile loop in our neighborhood recently and we know that his max lately has been just over half a mile. So, we brought the stroller to see if he would consider embracing it. And he did do a much better job than ever before by being a good boy and not suddenly jumping out of it! He would walk a good distance, then allow us to push him. Then when he was ready to walk again, he'd give a little warning wiggle to let us know he was ready to walk again. We'd let him out, he'd walk and then once tired again, he'd walk some more then a little more stroller time. He made his 1/2 mile and then some walk/ride time the rest of the way home. So, he really is increasing his distance this way. And he is doing so much better not falling off the side walks or bumping into trees. It took some time but he is adjusting much better to his lack of vision. We are ever so proud of this boy! #Who'sAGoodBoy?! #Henry'sAGoodBoy! #Henry'sTheMan #SolseyStroller'sNotSoBad
Henry had quite a fun Mother's Day. Not only did G-Ma come for a visit and spoil him mightily, but he also got to go to Grammy's on Mother's Day to celebrate with the whole family.
The last time Henry went to Grammy's for a big celebration was Christmas. He did great then, but he was a tad nervous and paced around quite a bit. This visit though, Henry was much more relaxed. His mental map of Grammy's house is much better now and I think that really helps him. It melts my heart to see Henry get back to his old Henry self as he is becoming more and more comfortable with his blindness.
It is always nice to hear from Grammy midday about how the kids are doing. One day last week, Grammy took a few snapshots of Henry just to show how his day was. You can see in the photos that he is laying in the sun and then enjoying the sun on his face.
What makes these photos so heartwarming (to us, anyway) is that this is old school Henry. It shows hows much more relaxed and Henry-like he is getting again. Being outside in the yard shows how he is starting to enjoy life again---the things he always used to love are bringing him warm fuzzies again! This is terrific. Not sure if Grammy realized just how meaningful these photos were at the time but I am sure she knows now even more how much we appreciate them.