WEGO health challenge Day 24: Health Mascot

Health Mascot. Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual

When I first saw this prompt when WEGO sent us the original list of all 30 challenges, I knew my health mascot would be a dog.  I knew it would be one of my dogs, but which one?  Today, it dawned on me:  the k2k9.com logo, of course!  Interchangeable between blogs!  :)

Hobie is the canine in the k2k9 logo.  He was four months old when the logo photo was taken.  He's 12 years old now.  Hobie and I share something I never dreamed we would share:  chronic pain and fatigue.  He has arthritis, and has a hard time navigating stairs, the car, climbing up on furniture and going for walks.  We still do our daily walk every day -- movement is important, for both of us.  It sometimes increases the pain, but to lie around all day is not good, either.  A nice balance, and we both take care of that, together.

During our walks, even as a little puppy, Hobie would lie down along the side of the road and take a breather.  He then developed a habit of "refusing" to go home -- if I wanted to turn around and go home, he would lie down in protest.   He still does it today.  He hasn't quite figured out that he cannot go for miles and miles and miles like we once did.  He has the will, I'll give him credit for that (because I don't!).  So, he lies down "in protest" and I sit down beside him on the ground, and wait.  Sometimes, I drop the leash on the ground and start walking towards home, he always follows me.  Then, when I pick up the leash, he lies down again.  Brat!  

We can learn a lot from observing dogs and cats as they age, or when they recover from a minor surgery or injury.  They will not show weakness.  Try as we might to get them to lie still and recover, they bounce right back.  We can use their inborn wisdom as an example to combat our own chronic pain.  As much as Hobie suffers from his arthritis, he still lumbers, ever so slowly, up the stairs; he always wants to go for a ride (R.I.D.E.!), he just needs to use a ramp to get into the car now; and he willingly plays with our four-month-old puppy, Charlie Brown.   In order to play with the pup, because Hobie's joints don't allow him to jump around, he adjusted for his limitations much as an office worker would find ergonomic solutions to sitting at a desk all day.  He lies down when they play!  It's rather funny, because usually a dog lying down means he is submissive, but in this case, he is just more comfortable -- oh, believe me, he is still plenty able to show Charlie who's boss!  Similarly, there is no reason why those of us in chronic pain can't live our lives to the fullest.  Just make some adjustments.  Go slower.  Modify your position -- if you can't play standing up, try playing in the prone position, instead!

It's hard to believe Charlie is the same age now as Hobie was when the logo photo was taken.  So much time has passed by.  We have lost some of our pack members that Hobie grew up with.  We have added some new pack members.  But Hobie is still the rock, he has always been an "intense" creature, serious rather than playful, able to leap off the ground with all four feet and look me straight in the eye.  Those landings had to have contributed to his arthritis, sadly, but the memory of him jumping so high (the vet used to say "He does little-dog tricks!" ) is a treasure that still makes me laugh today.

A dog, or a cat, no matter how old or infirm enjoys every moment of every day.  We should all take lessons from them.  Accept your limitations, modify accordingly.  This is why my dog, Hobie, is my Fibromyalgia Health Mascot.