Rheumatoid Arthritis

Capturing My Love of Izzy – The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo

As Izzy hit 13.5 years old this year, I wanted to capture our time together. When I shared with my husband that our daughter was planning to take some photos, he said, “You have lots of pictures of Izzy.” It’s true. But not lots of pictures of me with her.

I call Izzy #MyForeverToddler because as with any dog, she requires regular attention. But it is also because like a toddler, she is sincerely always happy to see me. Her love for me is unconditional.

Besides being my sweet girl, Izzy has been my motivator and friend through some of my worst days. When she came into our life, my RA was under control. It quickly took a nose-dive. Yet, she motivated me to keep moving. Some days that meant her leash was tied around my waist because my hands and shoulders were too sore. Other days it meant taking one of the kids to walk with us because it hurt too much when she pulled. One time, she knocked me over and I was barely able to get myself up. But moving I have always done. A border collie does not allow for a sedentary lifestyle. I contribute the required miles of walking to my body being as well off as it is after 16 years of RA.

Izzy has also been with me during some of my best days. We have taken long hikes together. She has pushed me to walk further when I hadn’t worked through all that I needed to in my head. She has taught me life lesson after life lesson. The one I love the most was several winters ago. We have about a 1/4 mile stretch in our neighborhood that is a community owned park. That means the sidewalks are never shoveled in the winter. As a younger dog, she hopped right through the Chicago snow piles. However, maybe when she was around 11, she stopped at the start of the path. I could see her thinking. Then, she turned around and we followed paths that were shoveled. It was like she remembered enough of these snowy piles and was done with it. Why keep doing something that no longer benefits you?

Izzy has been so much to me over the years. I wanted to make sure I have photos that showcase the things we love doing together. I think my daughter did an amazing job. Enjoy!


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