The Gift

Marge with Foxy and Bosco

Last week my wife brought home a very special gift. It was a gift of unconditional love for everyone one who lives in our home. The gift was a 3 month old Bassett Hound from the SPCA. His name is Bosco. We have always had a dog and very often more than one. However, since my “accident” we have only had one, a lovable mutt named Foxy. We got Foxy about eight years ago after finding out service dogs could cost anywhere between $15,000 and $18,000. I believed it would be possible to train her to pick things up for me, but Foxy had different ideas about what she was going to do. Picking things up was no problem for her, but then she wanted to play her favorite game tug-of-war for which I was no match. She went to, but flunked out of, obedience school. Foxy is a free spirit and we did not wish to destroy that characteristic, so we discontinued with the training. Foxy owns us and she knows it; and so our life went until about a year ago.

Marge decided Foxy was lonely and needed a playmate. The debate went on for over a year, Marge trying to come up with rational reasons and me trying to put the folly of the whole thing into perspective. Given the extra demands placed on Marge by my quadriplegia, I thought it totally wrong to bring into the family another member who would require even more of my wife’s attention. Two weeks ago the scales were tipped in favor of getting another dog. Our neighbor’s brought home a second dog, a cute puppy which looked like a St. Bernard. Foxy when to the edge of her range and barked and whined. The decision was made.


Saturday morning Bosco arrived. We were anticipating an adjustment period of days, if not weeks, but to our surprise it was hours. Foxy’s playful nature and maternal instincts quickly got the best of any reservation she might have had. I guess I could say the same thing for Marge. I must digress for a minute here. For several weeks prior I had been locked in a battle with Medicare and our secondary insurance company over a repair issue with my wheelchair. After a week or two I was totally frustrated. It was affecting me physically and mentally, and I was strung pretty tight.

Foxy quickly decided Bosco was going to make a great playmate and proceeded to test the theory for several hours. Finally, both dogs tired of the frolic and began to settle down. Marge picked up Bosco and put him on my lap. The impact was immediate. I could almost feel the tension leaving my body. The puppy grunts and his smell soothed my psyche. Talk about pet therapy! It was instantaneous! Bosco sat with me in my wheelchair for over a half an hour. Several times I drove around the house and he was as contented as could be. After I pet him for awhile my fingers began to relax and return to a more normal position. Check out the picture. Bosco accepts me as I am and neither expects nor desires any more. He tries to climb up my leg in an effort to get on my lap. When he is on my lap it is almost like being in a meditative state. One of the great things about love is the more you give the more you have to give.

Bosco & me

One response to “The Gift

  1. Deborah Gregson

    I believe each animal we are graced with in our life is sent to us for a purpose. They are loaned to us for a time and teach us something we need to learn, then go to their home with God where we’ll be able to have them, along with our perfect bodies forever.

    Bosco may be with you to teach unconditional love or patience or help you learn to savor moments of true relaxation. YOU needed a dog that was YOURS, not Marge’s, and it seems like Foxy was hers. Bosco will soothe your body and soul, and it’s good that you can see that. Have a swell time getting to know each other.


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