Today was a tough one. A serious contrast to the wonderful, relaxing day I had yesterday. After rowing class, I came home to see Jasmine, my geriatric dog, lying on the floor with her legs sprawled in front of her; she was unable to lift herself. You could see the frustration in her large brown eyes. She was straining and whining, looking up at me and asking for help. It broke my heart.
Since she has come to live with us, she has had many medical problems. But, she has always been able to overcome them. She has been a fighter, a survivor. It is wonderful having her with us. It has given us some great experience of what it will be like to take care of a child. She has also been a fantastic companion --the times we have walked around the block, the mornings at the park or the Biltmore, and the days where she went out on errands with me.
Today was tough because I had the realization that my friend is not going to be with me much longer. We took her to the vet after seeing that her mobility has become very limited. It was tearing me up. I hate to see her like that considering how much of her faculties she still has. She still gets excited when she sees me. She still has a glitter in her eyes when I pull out her leash. And, she can still eat her dinner quicker than a Porsche can get to 100 MPH.
The vet had the talk with us, telling us it was time to begin thinking about when will be the right time to let her go. There is no right time if you ask me. I have had her since I was 18. She has been one of my best friends. She is part of our family and so very loved. I don't know if I will be able to let go of her, but I know the time will have to come. I will have to consider what is best for her and her quality of life.
For now, she is on pain medications and we are trying to ease the pain of the arthritis and muscle atrophy in her hips. We are lending her a hand when she eats or needs to go out in the yard to make things a little easier.
I know many people look at dogs or cats as just animals, but I didn't grow up that way. Our pets have always been part of the family. They have their own personalities and quarks. And, something you don't experience with other humans - a love, devotion and loyalty that is unfaltering. On a bad day, coming home to a wagging tale and wet kiss on the cheek can cheer you up. Or, the days when you're sick, the warmth of a soft fluffy cat curled up against you is soothing and therapeutic.
I feel blessed and fortunate to have grown up in a family that loves our pets.
Jasmine, I love you. You will always be that adorable puppy that could never resist kissing every person who came within feet of you.
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