Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tolson 4 TEARS on Poems, Pets, PTSD

Since the first tickle of a dog licking my face and the first feeling of fur on my skin, I have loved dogs. My father brought pets home on a whim or a bet. During my childhood, he had a Beagle, a Boxer, and a Poodle named "Irma La Deuce." There were other dogs too short-term to remember, like a revolving door of dogs that dared to displease my father. *When their behavior mimicked the chaos in the family, he disposed of them. I was reluctant to get attached to a dog one day, only to have it vanish the next. My father was fond of a German Shepherd he named "Adolf." He tried to train the dog (without proper coaching from a dog handler). He wanted a dog that would  "Protect my family."  He wrestled with Adolf. The brown-and-black fur on the dog’s neck stood up and his paws gripped the floor with spread claws. Adolf sunk his fangs into the padded sleeve my father had wrapped around his arm. Adolf growled in aggression. My step-mother objected to the training and insisted on obedience school. I wasn’t sure if she meant for the man or the dog. *(excerpt from Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story)

I'm no longer reluctant to bond with pets. I cherish my dogs Annie and Gracie (who was born on September 11, 2001... by the grace of God puppies were being born on that awful day). These precious pets have literally saved my life, loyally licking my tears when I'm sad; they bring me joy. 

You can read an article about pets and PTSD at the Heal My PTSD blog, and follow a link to an audio on the subject.

Here is a poem written by Daisy, which tells about her cat, and how it helps her heal, and explains I feel about my dogs.

You stand near my pillow, gazing with wide yellow eyes

My form inert and dreaming.  You wish to commune
And I wish to remain inside the dream of mind.
Lost to symbolism; asleep to reality.

Your sensitive white antennae, like leaves upon my skin,
Tickle, as your soft breath falls upon me,
Slow to wake, your nose prods my cheek
And I groan as you pull me from the hands of Morpheus

From the caverns of sleep, I sift up to connect with you
And start my day.  The waves of sleep wash over me
Yet you pull me out, my little life raft.
You rest near and I run my fingers through your soft fur

Your song purrs in my ear, and I am delighted by the sound
As I feel affection expressed between you and me,
My little savior, my entertaining friend
Without you, I would drift forever in sleep.

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