Tag Archives: friendship

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,


The Dragon of Despair Faces its Enemies

The wheelchair sat in the front hall, parked by an electrical outlet, where it’s battery could be recharged. She gave it a wide berth when walking past, grimacing. She even hissed at it once, and walked away.

Correction: she doesn’t really walk anymore. Leaning heavily on her walker, it’s more of a trundle. “Okay then” she said, “the next sunny day, I’ll take you out.” She called her friend and neighbour, asking her out for coffee and mentioning that she’ll need some help holding open doors and testing her new vehicle on the sidewalk.

Her friend arrived and they chatted as always. Preparing to leave, she strapped on a fanny pack and belted herself in her new wheelchair. Then she tested the stick-shift controls. Her friend opened the front door of her apartment and they headed to the elevator. Backing out of the elevator will take practice. Eventually she learned that doing a 360 turn in a tight space is easier than backing out. The friend opened the door to the building entrance and the door to the street. They were off! She tested various speeds, finding out which speed left her friend out of breath, and, which was a leisurely stroll. They tested ramps: the buildings, the sidewalks, and, finally the ramp to the coffee shop. In her wheelchair, she pulled right up to the cafe’s table and her friend bought the coffees. The accessible bathroom was especially nice, with its easy to open, non-weighted door. The sink and grab bars were well-placed. The paper towels and soap were all reachable from the chair. The coffee was good too. They sat and chatted of their kids, who had met in preschool and who were now good high school buddies.

While the sun was still high in the sky, they headed home.

Satisfied with the test and cheered by the sun and good conversation, she thanked her friend. Her friend had made sure she got through all doors until she was safely home. Finally home, she parked her wheelchair and happily grabbed her walker. Stretching out her calf muscles and standing on tippy toes, she gratefully moved her leg muscles. Wonkily walking to her room, she laid down on her bed and napped soundly.

“The Dragon of Despair Faces its Enemies” is an oil painting by Joanna Strong. To see more of Joanna’s artwork please visit http://www.joannastrong.com