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MS and a puppy mill rescue dog

I was diagnosed with MS 17 years ago. With 5 small children at home, I struggled everyday to do my best. After the kids were all grown and on their own I felt so alone even though I have a wonderful husband.

One day, after our Alaskan Malamute passed, we visited a local puppy mill rescue. With no real intention of bringing a dog home, I found Ariel. She was a 4 year old white and chocolate Shih Tzu with a birth defect called a swimmers leg. As soon as I saw her I fell in love. Her happy, carefree spirit made think of my own life. It made think of how we live with MS. Since we’re perfect, have limitations we can feel pushed aside.

Since she knew only my kindness and love we share a bond that turned into a miracle! After about a year she started warning us before I’d have a seizure. After my husband realized what she was doing we both were so grateful for her love for me and the attention she paid me.

Ariel is now a certified Medical Service dog! She’s flown 1st class with me, travels and stays at all hotels with me. She is my constant companion and best friend.
When I saw your story about how pets comfort us, I had to tell Ariel’s story, I believe angels put us together.

If you don’t have a pet, please take the time to rescue one. You never know, they may be your rescuer too! The love they share is the best medicine you’ll ever know.
Ariel has also rescued me. I was so depressed by the continuing limitations she gave me the reason to get up and teach her how to live. I also remembered how to live again myself.

Today I laugh at what my Secondary Progressive MS has to throw at me.
It’s up to each of us to be happy. Yes I know, easier said than done, but it’s really not. We know our limitations, we can work around them. A “bad MS day” is for movies, hanging out with a friend who’ll hang out with you or just catching up on the sleep we all loose. The “good MS days” are for putting as much of life into you and loved ones that you can handle. I tend to over due my “good MS days!” I never want to loose a good day again!

I believe Ariel taught me as much, if not more, than I taught her. I freed her from her cage and she returned the favor to me 100 times over!

Take care of yourselves and live everyday the best you can. A “furbuddy” will do wonders, I promise!

Thank you for reading our story,
Candy & Ariel

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    6 years ago

    It sounds like you and Ariel are both lucky – you found each other at the right time. Thanks for telling us of your special friend. ~Laura

  • Candy author
    6 years ago

    Laura, I wish I could give each one of us, who suffers in silence, their own Ariel!! A “best friend” without judgement, expectations, pure love and devotion and of course someone to listen, understand and love us for our faults anyway.
    Do you a pet? I hope so, otherwise consider even a cat. Ours loves to be loved. When Ariel seems to need her “own space” our cat, Simba, takes her place. With my husband working a lot, I never feel alone.
    That would be a wonderful gift to all of us in my eyes.
    Best wishes and take care of yourself!


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