Dog Is My Co-pilot

A constant companion in a battle with cancer
By Connie Page, November 2010

Last January 2010, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My way of coping with any stress in my life is to spend as much time outdoors as possible. In and out of the house at that time, Cedar was my constant companion. The hikes into the hills, camping in the Gates of the Arctic, sitting at the floatpond watching planes come and go, relaxing on my deck with the redpoles and chickadees flitting from feeder to tree and back.

Cedar sat with me, walked with me, laid still when I cried and held her tight—needing someone who would allow my total, desperate abandon. Don’t get me wrong, my husband was amazing, my family, friends and co-workers astounded me with their support and generosity … but Cedar didn’t have places to go, things to do. She was just there … making me laugh as I watched her chasing her tail, her excitement over treeing a squirrel, the occasional moose poop indulgence, barking at the curious raven sitting in the tree above her, her wrestling with canine friends. For a little bit, I could watch her, just exuberantly being … and hope that I could be in that same state myself … again … soon.