Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Chance Encounter

Make no mistake. Mia is on the job. The other morning, as I came down the stairs, I heard this incredible howling. Oh, yes, a voice like no other. Mia could not see who was approaching as she lay snuggling with Joe on his bed. However, Mia wanted to be perfectly clear that someone had entered the apartment and she was sounding the alarm. Once I rounded the corner and Mia saw it was me, her ears flattened and it was as if she smiled to say, “Aw, it’s only you. So sorry, I’m really happy to see you!”

Yes, it’s true. Late at night, I dropped something in my room and this time a series of rapid barks from upstairs where Mia and Joe were sleeping. Mia wants to be sure we know who is in charge!

Mia brings joy into any room she enters or wherever she goes. It is amazing. Last week as Mia and I waited for Joe outside St. Vincent's Hospital, Mia caught everyone's eye - the children and their parents, the medical professionals coming and going, the guests visiting, and the patients being discharged. One man in particular struck a chord.

As this young guy struggled to get from the wheelchair into the back seat of his waiting car, he caught sight of Mia seating calmly, yet at attention watching his every movement from afar. The man called to me, “Is that really a service dog? I mean, what does she do? Who does she help?”

I smiled and answered, “This is my son’s puppy, Mia. My son has cancer and Mia helps keep him company. We are training her and she goes with my son to his treatments and appointments, and pretty much everywhere.” I wished the man a speedy recovery and he bid me and my son the same. I can’t be sure, but I think caught a glimmer of light in the man’s eyes as a wistful smiled crossed the stranger’s face.

Some days Joe is exhausted and Mia always likes to cuddle.  Guess fatigue goes hand in hand with cancer, though Joe never complains. Joe is always ready with a smile that comes from his heart.

I'll show you courage you can't understand. And one fine dog, too.

Love to all,

Joe, Nancy and Mia, 7/12


Ray Garassino said...

You were so wise to get Mia for Joe. I love seeing the light she brings to the scene.

Bill Mandia said...


Amazing, Joey, Mia seeing their bond first hand I agree with Ray.....what a Mom!!!

Love, Billy

Anonymous said...

Dear Doreen

I enjoy reading the blog and just continue to pray for Joe. Please call me if you need anything at all.