Perspectives on Illness & Life

Penny has a serious diagnosis

Penny is my English bulldog. She’s got digestive issues that causes her to regurgitate her food frequently. On a good day, once or twice. On a bad day? Ten times or more.

Silly Penny – settling in on my lap after playtime


The problem emerged last fall, shortly before I traveled overseas on vacation. While away, I had several 3am phone calls with my vet discussing treatment for Penny and her issues.

The vet described the care being taken to stabilize her, suggesting diagnostic tests to consider. I listened, trying to ignore all of the noise in the background at her office. Finally, I asked:

What’s all that noise?

She laughed and said, that’s Penny. She’s racing around the exam room with a toy we’ve given her. Apparently being happy is more important to her than her medical issues.

It was reassuring to hear little Miss Penny Lou, living life fully, focused on play.

Being Happy Is More Important

Take this in for a moment. Think about it. When you’re ill, ill at ease, symptomatic, in the throes of a healing crisis, do you focus fully on that, or do you turn toward your love of life and what fills you with happiness?

Three months later, we’re still dealing with digestive problems. Yet Penny runs around my house daily chasing her toys, sometimes stopping mid-chase to regurgitate where she’s standing. Stepping delicately around the mess, she resumes the chase. Regurgitation: a minor inconvenience.

Wait! There’s More!

Penny’s health issues don’t end with her gut. Dropped out of a moving car, she had reconstructive shoulder surgery on a front leg when a puppy. She has a weird gimpy waddle.

Her mobility and motility issues? Not her point of her focus. They barely register on her life-o-meter.

Fact is, Penny’s a big-hearted, life-loving, joyous creature, with a couple of serious health issues.

What’s Important

Check out this 45-second video of Penny playing in my living room, about 5 seconds after a huge regurgitation experience.

Does this look like a dog who has her priorities straight?

Living Big, Bold & Huge

Life is for living. Living as big and as bold and as huge as possible.

For Penny, living big means spending every possible minute with me, loving me, loving herself, her toys, food, beds and blankets.

And you?

What does living big, bold and huge mean to you?

Are you living this way?

Do you balance your issues with your joys?

Can you imagine expanding focus on your joys and diminishing focus on your pains?

What might happen if you shift your perspective?

Focus on happiness
Focus on Happiness!

Unrelenting Pursuit of Happiness

What else can be learned from Penny’s relentless, inexhaustible pursuit of love and joy despite her problems?

Life is precious, no matter what.

Humor, grace, optimism, love, and simple joys are as healing as herbs, medicines, diagnoses and treatment.

Whatever life hands out, there is always a choice of how it’s perceived and received.

Take care of your problems. Get the support that you need – you’re entitled to receive treatment and care.

No Matter What

Penny’s thrilled to share her life perspective with all of you.

Whatever your deficiencies, issues or concerns, focus on what brings you joy. Live large. No matter what.

Keep your vital energy flowing!



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