Celebrating My “Daughter”‘s Birthday

This post is about the slow-developing, but now unconditional, love between dog and human. I am fortunate to have so many different animals to whom I have become attached during my life, and think they can teach this fractured (human) world a whole lot about being willing to learn about that which we perceive as different but which might end up changing our lives beyond measure.

I remember our first encounter. On the day my now wife and I made our first real, in-person connection, she brought you over to where I was sitting. You took about 15 seconds to look at me, and decide you did not want a part of that, scampering off to whatever else had been holding your interest.

“It’s ok,” I told myself: “often a new entrant into an already established relationship takes some, shall we say, getting used to.

That initial meeting happened in February of 2015, on Valentine’s, the day of love in fact, and as I came around in March, April, July and August, your curiosity slowly won out and you had to come and see who this person was that always hangs with “mama!” Tentatively at first, then with a building aggression, you pressed up against me, checked out my hands and concluded that you enjoyed them, and, one cold November day, told us both that my presence had been approved by kissing our interlinked hands. I knew in my body that this occurrence was profound, because you, and for that matter most of your kind, have a great ability to pick up on people’s vibes, whether hidden or expressed.

After that great November day, you hardly allow me to sit alone on the couch without “asking for” well “demanding,” physical contact. The longer we have been together, the more you seem to want to be around. You used to at least stay away during times when “mama” and I are chatting or otherwise engaged, but now if you sense that she is on the phone or not talking to me, you’ll make your presence known till I either pet your head from above or, best of all, get onto the floor with you.

I can tell that you enjoy this kind of play, as well as the strange sounds I make, as your entire body expresses the amusement and joy with shaking and pants. As long as the sounds are expected, that is. When we get too silly, you scamper off to your safe place and hunker down until sanity prevails.

Who says that one’s “kids” must be part of the same species. In our opinion, she is our kid because she provides something tangible to love, entertain and, to some extent anyway, protect us. She is a seven-pound Pomeranian we call Boo Boo, and she turns 8 this Halloween. That’s 56 in dog years, so yeah technically older than I am by a few. But as all parents say, “you’re never too old to be my kid”.

So here’s to many more years, we hope, so long as you don’t eat anything strange and enjoy life. And to al others who’s kids have four legs instead of two, I salute you. Woof woof!

A Brief Update: New Aids!

After seven years of my Little Blue Boxes, change was definitely in order. Yes those boxes served me well over their life, and I managed to make them last longer than they might otherwise hav. But what I failed to realize, as I almost always do when used to my hearing situation, is how much I had lost.

All of the paperwork cleared up and aids purchased, I finally, somewhat excitedly, scheduled the appointment to acquire my new aids on Monday. It’s weirdly like a kid on Christmas, having been accompanied by the knowledge that this change might make it easier to function in work, social, and other similar areas.

These aids are still Phonak, what sounded when the audiologist read them like a string of letters and numbers that, she says, means they’re “really good”. We get them in, with my new molds that seem to fit fine, with no issue. They feel as my loaner aid had: skinnier and with a single volume control on the back of each. Like my previous Phonak though, and I would guess most modern aids, they work together to ensure that I have the best hearing profile in any place I night find myself. They also use the same batteries, sized 675, that seem to power my loaner for nearly a month apiece. As she points out though, these aren’t likely to last that long due to their sharing power and the like. I am ok with that, but curious how long they will indeed last.

When turned on, the first thing I said was “the sound is just cleaner”. By this, I think I meant that there was less vocal distortion? I’m not exactly up on all the correct audio terms, but it just seems more natural to me somehow. The other aids had a lot of bass, but they tended to blend everything together far more than what I am currently experiencing. I was happy to have T-Coil back on both, and the ability to listen to the phone and headphones played through both aids, even if held only to one ear.

And then for the fun part, a venture into the larger world. I was kind of bummed that my Uber driver really did not say much, as I wanted to see if theyb would be more effective when cruising on the Interstate. But in going to work today, I found that I could much more easily har conversations on the bus, and even being in this typically loud workshop was not too bad. Finally, watching TV at home and holding another conversation now presents fewer difficulties. I know that the real fun will occur when I go to a restaurant, wherein I can in theory put the aids into Background mode and hopefully be able to hear a lot more. I am anxious to see how that goes.

And that’s about all I have on that front. Everything’s still being evaluated at this point, but I am thus far quite pleased with what I am getting. No aid will ever completely approximate natural sound, but this one is so close that it reminds me of what I have ben missing for so many years.