August 26, 2021

Be Free, Brycie

I’m convinced that Great Danes are humans, either reincarnated or dressed in dog outfits. What else could explain their size, intuition and the depth of grief when they’re gone? There are sayings that try, such as “Everything happens for a reason” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger ” or “It was meant to be.” To those sayings, I say, Hoo-Hah Alert! HHA number one: Reason? There is no rationality about the plight of Afghan women right now. On a scale closer to home, I can see no logic as to why a young, happy, healthy helper dog gets lymphoma.   HHA number two: Be strong or die? I’m thinking that a few of those women might rather be dead. Again, bringing it home, some biggies that should categorize me as The Hulk: I’ve survived a childhood stroke, lost my kid sister to lung cancer and have lived with […]
August 13, 2021

Service Dog Haiku

The only time my service dog isn’t beside me–or at the very least in the same room—is when I’m out on a bike ride. My service husband captains the tandem, which means I’m in back pedaling while he pedals, too, in addition to steering, braking and checking the GPS. I trade a blocked view in front for the opportunity to let my eyes and thoughts wander. It makes for a prime setting for a haiku to formulate. Words gather in my head as we ride. I take in the scenery and allow it to mix with my mood while the pedal stroke sets a rhythm to fit the poem’s five-seven-five beat. Here’s one now that popped up just thinking about a ride: From the rear seat ofA bicycle built for twoI count syllables Renee Le Verrier Lately, my service dog has spent more time beside me at home—as close as […]
May 17, 2021

Another Lesson from the Dog

On what’s worth holding onto Here, in his final few months with me, my service dog is quite alert to my moods. He sidles up and leans in, part support, part an it’s-okay hug. I get angry, tearful, crabby about his diagnosis and it reminds me of an incident when anger and tears arose after the first few months of my diagnosis. It was during my yoga teacher training more than a decade ago. In class one day, the instructor parsed the word, dis-ease, emphasis on dis. Ease is what the body does naturally, she said. Our ease is stunted by stress that builds up in the body and interferes with it. Do your yoga and you won’t be subject to dis-ease she concluded. Objection. My neurologist had just confirmed I had Parkinson’s and I’d been practicing yoga for years. Parse that, I wanted to shout. It’s true that job […]