Love…this week has really taught me what true love is and how love works.  I think too many people just carelessly throw the word around without even thinking about its meaning.  For me, when I say I love something or someone, I really mean it with all of my heart!

<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Our wedding day</figcaption>

This week I haven’t felt very well health wise, which obviously puts added stress on my entire household, as they take care of me and make sure I’m cared for.  It was eight years ago on September 14th that I married my best friend and soul mate, Alex!  There have been many times in the past eight years where he could have said “I give up” or “This is too hard” or “I can’t help you” but instead I get “I love you” and “Are you doing ok” and “Do you need me to do anything”.  Now that is what the true meaning of marriage is and I am forever grateful for it every day!

I’ve also learned to look at things from the other side, as the care taker.  It isn’t an easy task and even harder when you yourself don’t feel well.  I am in the process of learning how to fill this role to be as supportive as possible.  It is really hard to watch someone you love not feel well!

<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Maddie, Oliver and Henry</figcaption></figure>

I have also found that even when you think you don’t have any more love to give another hound, one seems to find their way into your heart!  My heart was crushed when Homer passed away.  I thought that there was no way another dog would ever wiggle their way into my heart as much as he did.  Well, I’m learning that they all wiggle their way into your heart, just in different ways.  For me, all of the hounds seem to have a different role in our lives here at Chez Jokela.  Homer was truly my heart dog and could sense when my NCS was acting up.  Sarge is the gentle laid back hound that just makes you smile and helps snuggle away the sorrow and pain.  Oliver is the the new sensor of NCS flare ups and is known as the house clown, who needed us as much as we needed him.  Maddie is the girl who keeps you going, is very loyal and is eager to learn.  Gerdie was my girl.  She was my shadow, the one who watched over me, the first one to greet me and the alpha female of the house.  She kept everyone in line with an iron but gentle paw.  When she left us in July I was devastated and didn’t know if my heart would ever heal.

<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Henry playing nurse</figcaption>

Once again I was feeling that emptiness that I had felt when Homer left.  Well, of course along came Henry and now my heart is a little less broken…ok a lot less broken!  This boy makes you smile everyday and is the best behaved puppy I have ever had.  Yes, I probably just jinxed it now and yes I know I said puppy when I said after Homer I would never get another puppy and yes it isn’t hard to not be a better behaved puppy than Homer was.  As the 6.5 month old Henry slept and snuggled on the bed with me for 6 hours on Tuesday, while Alex was at work, I knew I was well cared for and that I loved him even more than I thought I ever could.

So there you have it…I am very blessed and glad that I am able to love and be loved!