The Littlest Comeback King


I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed our daily outings until my little Energizer Bunny couldn’t walk anymore. Mornings and evenings, rain or shine, we could usually be found pounding the pavement for a little exercise and fresh air. At times this was a chore to me. While I love my dog, sometimes the last thing you want to do is go for a walk; especially in the rain or on a cold winter night, which trust me, we’ve done.

We will never know for sure how he injured his leg, but we know how long the road to recovery has been. At first, I welcomed the break, there is always so much to do in a day and I could use some extra time. As months passed, however, I started to wonder if we would ever get to walk again. Watching him limp around the single block he was allowed, carrying him up steps, therapeutic stretching – it felt as though he was never going to get better. Now I watch him sprint down the street as we slowly add one block at a time, and I find myself smiling as I follow his little chicken legs down the sidewalk. My boy is making a comeback.

Our walks have changed now. I know that I’m projecting when I say that my dog is even more excited to go now than before. It is unlikely that he associated his injury with the months of confinement, and even more unlikely that he gave his injury any thought at all. I also know that it isn’t realistic to think that he’s trying to make the most of every outing because he never knows when a walk will be his last. But I look at them that way. Now his obnoxious insistence that we go, go, GO! brings a smile to my face. When he stops to smell every tree, I let him even though it’s slowing us down and making me late. For now I have my best friend back and I want to make the most of every moment. You never know how many walks you’ll get.


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Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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