Fidose of Reality, Pawer Women
Fidose of Reality, an amazing blog for dog lovers of a higher order, comes out with a list of Pawer Women every year. This year I’m on the list! Can you believe it? Here’s what Carol, the author of Fidose, has to say about the list:
Fidose of Reality announces a list of women in the pet industry who go above and beyond. In some way, shape, or form, these ladies did something to impact the lives of dogs in 2016 (and no doubt long before that and for many years to come). They make a difference, they are folks you should follow, read, get to know, and whose advice/presence/knowledge goes above the norm.
So how on earth did little old me make the list? After all, I serve up dog treats here, but I don’t rescue or anything. I mean, besides my own four dogs. Granted, the treats from Jones Natural Chews are all natural, 100% grown and made in the US, and mostly single ingredient treats – all of that is great for dogs in general. I spread the word about these treats, which is great for dogs. But making such a prestigious list?
Cancer makes all the difference. This has been both one of the toughest years of my life, and one of the best. Battling cancer means I cancelled all of the conferences and road trips I was scheduled to attend this year. Boohoo. It means that I was, in many ways, quite miserable for long stretches. But I also found out how loved I am. My friends, in and out of the dog community, are the best anyone could ever have. You all rock. You’ve made this year FANTASTIC. Thank you. My dogs have also made it a great year for me, keeping me warm and secure. Giving me plenty of kisses, as well as reasons to get up and move when I needed to, but didn’t want to. It’s been an incredible year.
But that wasn’t the only thing which drew the Fidose of Reality’s committee to me. I did something which most people are reluctant to do, but which comes naturally to me. I kept you all in the loop through my cancer journey. I let you know, each step of the way, what treatments were occurring, how they effected me, my struggles and triumphs. I could only do that successfully because all of you rallied around me in support and curiosity.
Cancer is a strange and horrible thing. People don’t tend to want to talk about it. I think because there aren’t many known causes, so it could happen to anyone at any time. It’s indiscriminate. And when you’re walking through chemo, side effects happen which are unpleasant and often embarrassing. No one really wants to discuss the embarrassing, and no one wants to hear about the unpleasant. Also, the exhaustion – there’s just no energy, for long stretches. Seeing and speaking with friends becomes nearly impossible. So cancer isn’t talked about. So we just don’t know much about it. Which is terrifying when you get a diagnosis and know nothing about the Mac truck that’s barreling down at you at 90 miles an hour.
What I did, this year, was to talk openly about every aspect of the cancer and treatment, including how and why we got the diagnosis. If you haven’t followed along, it was rectal cancer (so glamorous), and it was blood in the toilet which tipped me off. I thought it was a perimenopausal thing at first, which it why I was stage three before catching it. And then I told everyone I knew. Everyone. You can read the first stage here.
Here’s the deal – dogs are important. Very important. But without their humans, they’d be lost. They need us. We need to care for ourselves and each other. So I want y’all to know what the signs are, and what to expect if it happens to you. And to know that it’s scary, but can be walked through with grace and humor, making you a better person on the other side.
A huge thank you to Carol and Fidose of Reality for including my embarrassing self on their list. It’s humbling to see myself amongst so many truly inspiring women in the dog community. And I’m hoping to avoid being an inspiration this year, if it means having a life threatening disease. 😉 Pop over and read about the women on the list, visit their social media pages. I think you’ll be glad you did. And tell Carol I said hi!
Spreading the good chews …