Amber Teaches Us about our own Resiliency and Adaptability

January 20th, 2012 by Robin Reynolds

As reported Amber’s surgery went very well, but we didn’t realize the full extent of its success until we went to pick her up last night from the animal hospital. Charging through the doors, Amber came sprinting towards us on all 3’s, grinning broadly with her tail wagging furiously.

YAY!!! I’m outta here!

The hospital technician ran along beside her, trying to support her with a towel, but she quickly showed us that she didn’t need it.

What are we hanging around here for, Dad? I’m ready to boogie!!

She hadn’t eaten much at the hospital, but the moment she got home, she headed straight for the cupboard that houses her treats and demanded her Greenie. Then she ate, not one, but TWO portions of chicken and brown rice and went outside and pooped. I know this may be more information that you wanted to know, but if you knew the amount of anxiety that existed in my household about how she would be able to handle this, you would know why this was something to celebrate!

Today marks the first anniversary of my mother’s passing and it was just the beginning of many losses that we endured during the past year. When Amber’s cancer was first diagnosed, I wondered: What lesson are we supposed to learn from this? Now I am thinking that perhaps, Amber’s strength of spirit is meant to remind us of our own resilience and adaptability. In the face of change that is compounded by grief, hurt, and disappointment, we humans may wonder how we will get through it all. But Amber shows us that with love and faith, all things are possible. Thanks, Amber, for reminding us who we are with your amazing attitude and incredible courage. As Max and I wrote in Life to the Max, “…be grateful for every teacher who leads you—even if it’s the one at the end of the leash!”

Speaking of gratitude, I want to shout out to our vet, Dr. Tracy Wight and the amazing staff of McClintock Animal Care Center for their continued caring concern, faithful follow up and patient hand- holding. Also we want to thank Dr. Christopher Monarski, Dr. Miller, Donna, Jordan and all the other technicians and staff of VCA Animal Referral and Emergency Center of Arizona who calmly answered all our questions and soothed our fears during this anxious time. If you are in the East Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, you will not find better veterinary professionals.

Stay tuned for more news next week after we meet the oncologist!

22 Responses to “Amber Teaches Us about our own Resiliency and Adaptability”

  1. Wyatt says:

    Congrats Amber and family! You have the ‘Dale’ spirit, no doubt about it!

  2. Terry R says:

    Such relief!!! Can’t wait to see her! Might just have to share a special lunch treat with the Ambulator!!

  3. Jamie Leib says:

    Thanks for the wonderful photos of Amber getting released. She is adorable and amazing! I bet you are so glad to have her back. Big hugs!

    • The techs in the hospital said that she was one of the fastest to ever stand up after surgery. Everyone was so glad to be home that we just all laid around on the floor for hours!

  4. Susan lawton says:

    What an airemazing girl! They say there is nothing like a dale….it’s so true. Well done all of you and big licks and nosepokes from Foggy and Dylan xx

  5. Sally Leach says:

    I love how you see the lessons our Dale friends teach us and put so well in to words. It is clear Amber plans on living her life to the MAX! W are so happy for you all :-)

  6. Linda Webb says:

    What an inspiring and heartwarming story! Thank you for sharing. God bless all of you for your fairth and constitution.

    • Robin Reynolds says:

      Thank you, Linda. We have to appreciate the little things in life because they really are the big things!

  7. Sue Shannon says:

    I knew when I read Life To the Max that you were a very special person. Reading this post just reinforces it. I’m so sorry for your loss of your mother and the tough year you’ve had, but seeing how you are dealing with Amber and her surgery shows just what an amazing spirit you have — I’m thinking you might be part Airedale yourself! Sending lots of Aire-zen from WI – I know you have a special place in your heart for WI.
    ~Sue Shannon

    • Robin Reynolds says:

      I am humbled by your recognition, Sue. It was hard to catch my breath last year, but this is not uncommon, especially as you grow older, yes? The losses come more frequently, so you have to look for those simple moments of joy in everyday life. Whenever I write something, my intention is to help someone else by sharing my experience. I am glad if this intention was clear to you because I do think there are lessons to be learned from our everyday experiences. I also think when we share our stories, we light the way for others. Thank you for seeing my light!

  8. You go Amber. What a poster child to the spirit and endurance of our airedales.

  9. I am so delighted to see Amber ambling along so well.. It is great! Yes, they do give us the power to smile don’t they..

  10. Rita Brown says:

    Hi Robin and Amber and Mr. Robin/Amber, I have been following your story and am not at all surprised by Amber’s spirit. These Airedales are fighters, who seem to love life even if it is drastically changed. Our Rua survived so much and then when it was time to put her down, she said no. Aunty Sidney kept her for us in what we called Doggie Hospice. Three weeks later, Rua decided her time had come and died a natural death. I love this breed and those who fall in love with it too. Rita and Earl (an Airedale rescue)

    • Robin Reynolds says:

      Cherish Rua’s memory. I think they definitely let us know when it’s time to go and Amber let us know in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t her time. BTW-my husband’s name is Lenny. He sort of likes to be a behind-the-scenes guy, but he has been in all this every step of the way.

  11. Heide Hennen says:

    What a great outcome! Wish you all the best Amber

    • Robin Reynolds says:

      She seems happier than she was before the surgery. Looking back, she must have been in more pain than we knew. Awesome outcome!

  12. Thanks, Sidney! We are grateful.

  13. Definitely lessons to be learned from our dogs. Accept what happens and just keep on trucking. She looks beautiful.