As most dog lovers realize; dogs are routine creatures. They prefer their walks to be at a certain time every day, when they wake up and go to bed, their meals and snacks served etc. Now, consistency and routine can go right out the front the window when I used to get high. When I was high, my dogs also suffered tremendously. They did not receive that extra attention and love; as my mind would be some place out, usually on Loony Tune Planet.
Believe it or not, when my addiction took over my soul, it had also taken over Cali’s and Patches. Patches, more so, because, as an ACD, he is so dam sensitive towards me, he knew immediately when I was not right. For example, he would come up to my nose, smelling out the synthetic chemicals I just had ingested. Patches would give me that sad look “Why did you do that to yourself today, daddy?” And the rest routine for that day would go to shit, as Patches and Cali would suffer. In fact, Cali wanted no part of this self-destructive behavior and go hide in the bedroom for the rest of the day as I slumped around the barren house like a zombie.
We (as loyal dog owners) must always remember, our dogs are our children. And if for some reason when things such as addiction get in the way, we usually don’t attend to their proper needs. The dogs are truly harmed in both a mental and physical way. As the drugs were aging me, I could also see it in the dogs, especially Patches, who is now nine years old. All that guilt and shame builds up over the years, and before I went to rehab in Thailand, I almost lost them for good. That feeling of disconnection and lost will never leave me. Each day, I continue to grow, and return to the normal world of sobriety. This is a long journey of salvation (as Patches is a top champion flyball and dock dog, and Cali is off to great start at frisbee and flyball at three years old) with many positive days ahead, as the routine is back in place, and the three of take on the world together again. (**