Dog sitting on the lap of someone in a wheelchair while they high five

The Joy Nestled Beside Me

My parents' visits begin with a "Hi Di!" and a kiss and then we delve into chatter about this and that, and my sisters are pretty much the same. My nieces and nephews bounce in with a "Hey, Aunt Dianne!" before sharing their latest with my eager ear. And when my children awake and come in to say good morning or arrive home after being out, it's like "Good morning (or) Hey Mom! You ok? Need anything?" before we begin chatting about this thought or that.

It's nice...visits I love, talking I definitely love, and fellowship is a treat indeed. I definitely feel the love and warmth from them all and definitely reciprocate the love and warmth, no doubt about it!

My MS emotional support dog

And then there's Bailee, our four-year-old feisty, adorable Chihuahua. The way she reacts when she sees me and the immense love and attention she gives, and desires, brings a different kind of brightness - especially to my MS world of being sedentary, as well as primarily homebound. After she's returned from her outside time, or an appointment, or on the rare occasions when I may have gone out, her happiness is seeing me.

Sharing her joy

In those instances, her huge, excitable reaction and display of glee are always the same. Her eyes are intense with joy, and her tail wags hard and fast, making noises of excitement, jumping onto my lap then down and running around before jumping back up and wanting belly rubs. And when this blur is over and she's worn her little self out, she then uses her snout to move my hand in the position she needs it to be in order to nestle into 'her spot' - snugly wedged between my leg and chair.

Experiencing happiness together

But even when Bailee awakens in the morning, her happiness is seeing me. If she's been in the living room napping, sunbathing, or in the window watching traffic, when she ventures back to me, or if I've been napping and she knows I'm awake, her happiness is seeing me. She comes, wagging her tail happily, lovingly gazing at me with those big ole eyes as if to say, "Mommy, I missed you!" and jumps onto my lap for a good belly rub, some affectionate 'puppy talk', and then uses her snout to move my hand in the position she needs it to be in order to nestle into 'her spot' - snugly wedged between my leg and chair. I love her happiness and she loves mine.

Lifting the heavy burden of MS

On days when I am feeling MS'y and don't have many words, but only thoughts of how, what, or why...what was, is, or will be, there's my Bailee - just lovingly comfortable with me in 'her spot' - snugly wedged between my leg and chair.

On days when MS seems too heavy to bear, Bailee willingly will forgo sunbathing and traffic watching just to be close to me lounging in 'her spot' - snugly wedged between my leg and chair. It's as if she knows the comfort and joy her love and presence brings me.

Whether I'm watching mindless television or a good movie, writing, reading, moderating, or listening to music, Bailee's warmth, literally and figuratively, is right beside me. Yes, you guessed it...nestled into 'her spot' - snugly wedged between my leg and chair. A small package bringing big joy and lots of happiness in my big 'ole MS world.

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