It’s fair to say it’s been a bit of a doozy of a week in the Brammah household.

As many of you know, my husband and I have two dogs, both of whom are getting on a bit – an almost 8 year old french mastiff and a labrador who will be 14 in spring.  We love them to bits.

Last week we were lucky enough to spend a week snowboarding in the stunningly sunny Alps (more on that next time), so the four-legged types had been packed off to the kennels.  We collected them last Saturday; both looking happy, muddy and a tad rounder than a week prior.  All normal then!

But on Sunday, Minnie (our mastiff) got sick.  I’ll spare you the gory details but let’s just say she had a very dicky tummy.  Cue lots of kitchen roll, plastic bags, carpet shampoo and antibacterial spray.  Nice!  At first we didn’t think much of it… A change of food for a week could easily have made her feel a bit queasy.  Sadly another “accident” happened overnight and then her condition dramatically worsened.  I came home on Tuesday (having been out for just a few hours) to find every kind of bodily fluid imaginable, including blood.  Minnie was cowering under a table, pale, cold and physically shaking.

Long story short, she was hospitalised at the vets and, after the good news that her bloods were all normal (ruling out anything sinister), she was treated for severe gastroenteritis, given intravenous antibiotics and fluid, and is now back at home making a full recovery.  She’s on a lot of meds and has lost a fair bit of weight but is otherwise her usual bubbly self.  I cannot tell you how relieved we both are.  When we left her at the vets we honestly didn’t know if we’d be getting her back.
Minnie and her camo bandage after her ordeal

Minnie and her camo bandage after her ordeal

Now if you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering what on earth this has got to do with you!

Well, firstly I am trying to share more about me, because I think sometimes people assume I just live in a carefree, happy world of exercise, green drinks and positivity.  This could not be further from the truth.  I have the same battles as everyone else.  I have my demons.  (Demons?  Think I have been watching too much Dexter).  Anyhoo…

On Tuesday evening, whilst sitting at home wondering if our big beast would pull through, my husband and I cracked open a good bottle of wine we had left over from Christmas and, after polishing off our steaks, demolished a box of salted caramel truffles (also from Christmas).

Classic emotional eating.  Something many of us can identify with.

I felt upset and vulnerable and tried to soothe that pain with food.

Not that I’m saying that a couple of glasses of wine and a few choccies are disastrous, but it was the reasoning behind it that struck me afterwards.  I’m not usually into mid-week booze! I’ll be talking more about emotional eating over the weeks to come but I shall leave you with these thoughts:

Why do we choose to abuse our bodies when our bodies do so much for us?  Think about it… We’ve all been there, like Minnie, crippled in pain with “stuff” coming out of both ends, and yet we always bounce back.

One thing that’s for sure is that we bounce back quicker when we have taken good care of ourselves.  If you respect your body and thank it for all that it has done for you (enabled you to see places, put you right after you drank too much or ate something that disagreed with you), it will look after you.

I’m pretty sure that the reason Minnie recovered so well, despite her age (8 is getting on for a giant breed like hers), is that she has been well looked after.  We never feed her tidbits or our food, just her usual food, the odd Dentastix, occasional bit of chicken, and plenty of fresh water.

So here’s to loving ourselves, respecting our bodies and working together to undo poor coping mechanisms.