She Takes Me to the Sun

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It’s a new day and a new season to relaunch But Maybe She Wheel adventures!

Thank you everyone for your patience as I ducked out of the blogosphere to focus on studying for the medical college admission test. I’m happy to say that the weeks of 8+ hour days studying paid off and I’m returning with nothing but excitement for my professional future.

It has been exactly one year since I paired with Ethel and a year ago today we left the Service Dog Project Crazy Acres Farm after two weeks of training to begin our lives together. Today, in my heart, is our anniversary, the “gotcha” day, the day that Ethel joined our lives and forever changed mine.

Through the ups and downs of the year and lessons I’ve learned in pairing with a Service Dane, there’s a layer of underlying routines that happened every day and will continue to happen every day. The routine of meal times, having every head turn when we go out to the store, get the mail or go to the gym and of the twice a day long walk we take are now stitched into the fabric of every day life together. And it is the long walk that is the unsung hero in our life together that I want to illuminate for our one year anniversary.

No matter the life and the state of the body performing in that life, there are hardships too great to bear sometimes. Pain is a relative beast that may appear to be the largest grizzly towering overhead in one person’s life while only the size of a bear cup in comparison to another. I lose perspective sometimes when I’ve fallen overboard into anxiety or sadness. It’s not hard to do and it takes a strength that I oftentimes don’t remember I have to climb my way on board again. Strength… or a Great Dane.

With this God given sixth sense dogs have, Ethel knew at these points how far my heart had fallen. She would respond with taking one of her big paws and whacking at the wheels of my chair or at my legs, which is her *subtle* way of telling me she wants to go for a walk. And when Ethel wants to go for a walk, it’s not long before any ignored whacks turn into two baby blue eyes sorrowfully staring just a few inches from my face. Ok, let’s go for a walk.

Because she knows what I need at those moments I can only get from the wind, from the fresh air and from the sun. My mother’s favorite flower was the sunflower and like the sunflower, she’d follow the yellow star as it’d make its’ arc through the sky throughout of the day. I inherited this need to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and fill on its’ energy in my spirit. It’s when I’m overboard in the depths of my emotions that only sunshine can remind me of warmth that comes from knowing God is still by my side, of patience to see the storm through and of hope that world still has sunny days. Ethel knows this. Even on the days out of vest and off duty, when I need it, my service Dane, my friend and my hero takes me to the sun.

Great Dane, service dog, paraplegic

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  1. Your happiness brought me to tears for both you and dear Ethel. I pray for the best in your future endeavor. You will be a success. God Bless you, Ethel and your hubby.

    1. I greatly appreciate your prayers and thoughts. She’s an incredible blessing and I’m glad to be sharing again

  2. Great to see you post again. I truly missed reading about you and Ethel in your daily adventures. I kept thinking about you two when I was in church and remembered your post about Ethel in church. I wish you all the best in your studies and look forward to more post. God Bless you Julia, Ethel and your husband.

    1. well, thank you! I appreciate your thoughts- we’re doing well and I’m excited to start sharing our adventures again

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