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What Would I Do Without You?

A tiny helper's story.

By Shae MorenoPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Allow me to introduce you to the reason I do most things one-handed: Melvin. Even now, I am typing with my right hand and holding my tiny assistant with my left. Most of the time, people don't understand why I can't just put him down or why he won't lay down on his own, and that's okay. What works for us may not work for others. However, since shifting to working from home exclusively (mainly for Melvin), I think it's important to explain where I'm coming from more than ever.

Let's start with a little backstory. Melvin is a 19 year-old, 4 pound chihuahua. I adopted him about 9 years ago and he was Mr. Independent when he first came home. It wasn't until a few months after I adopted him, when he started losing his sight, that he started getting a little more anxious and clingy. He went completely blind within a year. He had a harder time finding his food and water and getting around on his own, so, being the helicopter mom that I am, I started doing basically everything for him. He's been hand fed pretty much his entire life with me, he has his own plastic cup for water because the big water bowls that his brother and sister use are scary, I carry him everywhere, I let him run the house; and I'm okay with that. Actually, strike that, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Like I said, Melvin is 19, and having a 19 year old dog comes with a lot of challenges. He's blind, he has no teeth, he has to wear diapers and stay in a portable baby crib when he's home alone, he has stomach problems, a heart murmur, his coordination and balance has definitely been better, and he can't safely be home alone for more than 5 or 6 hours at a time. That last piece is the one most people are confused by. He can't safely be home alone for more than 5 or 6 hours. Unless you've had a special needs dog or a super senior, that might confuse you too, and that's okay! Melvin is a bit of an escape artist. And when I say a bit, I mean he could put Houdini to shame. He can climb out of anything! That also means, he can get stuck in a lot of places once he's successfully escaped his crib. If he doesn't escape, he ends up hurting himself in the process of trying. That's what I mean by he can't safely be home alone for long periods of time.

So, last year I quit my job, started doing freelance work from home, canceled all of my plans to move out of my dad’s house, and overall put my life on hold for this little dog. Most days, you can find Melvin in his little sling or in my arms sitting at the kitchen counter doing our work for the day. He's happiest when we work from the bed and he gets to snuggle next to me under the comforter. He makes every single work task take at least twice as long between potty breaks, drink breaks, "mom, move I need to be cozier" breaks; but I wouldn't change it for the world.

My dogs mean everything to me, Melvin in particular because of his age and his health problems. He deserves a little extra love and attention. If he could be gone tomorrow, I want every day to be exactly what he deserves. I want him to feel safe and loved and be able to have every possible moment I can with him. I've never had a bossier boss or a more useless assistant, but he makes every workday special.


About the Creator

Shae Moreno

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