Category Archives: pets

A is for Albussio…

Here I sit, the caretaker of my humans. I am alert and attentive. My position is well established and my duties understood.   I am the greeter at the door and observe keenly all those who  enter, especially tall humans with deep voices. I monitor them closely and observe their activities. My dear humans, I am forever aware of their moods and emotional states. If there is excitement, I observe this through the cadence and chatter of voices. I am aware of every smell and sound.  If I smell burning, I use my alarm bark and run to the silver box in the kitchen. Once I found yellow-jackets crawling on the floor, looking rather stupefied. As a warning to my humans. I barked my alarm bark. The unspoken contract between myself and my humans is well-established: I provide these services and they offer me food on a regular basis, sometimes with a sardine or two. I guide my humans on outdoor walks, and have my very own bathroom with mat,  so I can do my business indoors if need be. They pet and scratch me with pleasure. I endure their brushing and often play games or look really cute to get a treat or two. Here are some of my favourite poses


A word from Sir Albussio

This is how it was before my back leg slipped off the bed and was grabbed by the “lift” and it’s a long thin feet. I can no longer trust it, although I see ‘My Lady on Wheels’ using it several times a day.  I suspect it may attack me again. You see how she adores me; I am steadfast and always aware of how she is. Since I remain a gentleman and one committed to routine, I return to her bed every morning to see how she is doing. Once ‘My Lady on Wheels’ is up and seated at her bed and I detect the scent of the daily washing. I understand what has taken place and know that after she is fed, I will also be fed and walked.

For more pictures of me, find me on Instagram

I write to you now as the dog of the family, Signor Albussio.

 You may call me, Albus. It has become apparent to me that writing this is taking too long. I will take it upon myself to finish it for ‘My Lady on Wheels,’ who you know as Rita. While we wait for the next visitor, whom I will greet enthusiastically at the door and who will arrive mostly to pet me and adore me, I will add a few thoughts…

My responsibility as supervisor of the goings-on at my home for my  human bipedal family remain constant and true. Why yesterday, a female human with strong, sure hands arrived at the house. She helped ‘My Lady on Wheels’ to move her legs and arms, back and forth. I sat close by, licking ‘My Lady’s’ left knee, as is my duty. The therapist was unkind. She enticed me off to ‘my chair’ (also known as a box of files), gave me a treat and then moved the tub that gives me access to ‘My Lady’s’ side. I had to stand on my back paws, press my forepaws to the giant cushion to gaze at My Lady and continue the supervision. I grumbled and was displeased.

I notice since the therapist arrived and booted me from my place, My Lady moves more easily. She has regained her perch on wheels. My Lady has been tired of late. Previously this last week, she sat upon a much smaller, more awkward perch with two large wheels and two very small wheels. She used her arms to move the large wheels to get around the house. She was tired, I could tell and had not any time to play. The odour of this wheeled perch was offensive to my nostrils. I did not recognize this acrid and musty smell, but I heard the word ‘cigarette’ and the word ‘smoke’.

My lady rises early today, feeling refreshed from yesterday, no doubt. The movement and chatter coming from the two females during the therapist’s visit seems to revive ‘My Lady on Wheels’. I continue to rest in the sun, at least until a noise alerts me to the front door or my lady calls for my help. If the great wailing begins on the street, I will do my duty to alert my humans of this wailing melancholy. 

with the greatest affection and the finest respect,


Too Tired

I have been too tired to write.

There have been bladder infections and antibiotics

that made me too tired to write.

Lots of water, cranberry juice and I stopped drinking coffee.

I have been too tired to write…

Too many trips to the bathroom

made me too tired to write.

How to explain…

when getting up in the morning is opening your eyes to realize

that getting out of bed is more like a grand haul.

So, I have been too tired to write.

A trip to the bathroom is more like an expedition

and the shower? Having a shower…

becomes the event of the day.

I have been too tired to write.

Now, let me admit

that I have been too distracted to write.

When simple tasks become arduous, sitting in my wheelchair and catching an episode of my favourite show is fun I deserve.

Have you caught podcasts? There are so many out there. They are much fun to listen to and I can play them all the time. Having other people’s words fill my head distracts me from the arduous peculiarities of life.

And, when I have energy for something, I choose to work on the podcast that I like to call ‘a little spiritual hour’ on the Internet. From The Healing and Cancer Foundation take a look at one of our podcasts.

I have been too distracted to write. Here’s another one of my distractions.


Look who just turned One Year Old

“I was set up,” I explained to a friend and laughed. “Everything was perfect. I would have agreed to anything.” With a broad smile, I told my friend how on a perfect day at the end of the summer, my daughter and I went to the park. When I stopped the van in front of the water, I turned to my daughter and asked “Can you pull out the wheelchair?” I explained, “We can take the path we’ve not taken before.” She shrugged an “okay” and pulled out the wheelchair from the back of the van. When I showed her the new path I had found, a path that was paved and totally accessible, I sat in the wheelchair and she pushed me down to the water. My friend smiled, as I described how I sat facing the water, enjoying the sound of the waves hitting the rocks and the warmth of the sun on my face. My daughter and I talked about school starting, summer ending and nothing in between. And then she asked, “Would you ever want to get a dog?” I was relaxed and pleased to be somewhere outside with my daughter and replied, “Oh, I love dogs!” I smiled and closed my eyes into the sun, “I would love to have one.”

Then I remembered ‘How To Be A Parent’ and told her, “If we had a dog, you along with your brother and sister would have to take care of it.” Every parent says that, but because I have MS, she knows I mean it.  She shares the cooking, setting the table, serving of supper, and cleaning up after supper with her siblings. (They do not plan meals, nor do they budget. I do that. And, I hire help to get the week’s shopping done and to cook up two to three meals a week.) I warned her, “dogs are expensive and a lot of work. It’ll be like having a little baby. I want you to make a list of all the expenses and the work involved.”  And then, I gave her a glimmer of hope, “and we’ll see if we can do it.”

The odds were against me: the sun, the summer breeze, and my daughter’s company. I was relaxed and gave her an open and sincere response. When we got home, she immediately told her sister, “Mom said we could have a dog.” At which point I thought ‘damn’,  but responded with: “No, I said to make a list of all the expenses and seriously look at what’s involved and I’d think about it.” Every child knows when they hear the phrase: “I’d think about it…” chances are, things will work out in their favour.

I was doomed, when I did think about it. I realized I would enjoy the company of a little dog. The teenagers I live with come and go. I would enjoy the company. Training a dog could be a new hobby. I sat by myself and I thought about it and told myself: “No! you can’t, you have MS.”  My heart sank to the floor and I felt irrepressibly sad. I can’t always say: “No!” Sometimes, I have to say, “Yes!  It will be hard and it doesn’t make any sense, but I’ll figure it out.” And so, I did something presumably irresponsible, I took on the care of another little life, even when I need help to do a lot of things for myself. And now he’s one year old…