I want to address a difficult topic that all of us as pet owners will be forced to face at one point or another. The worst part of being a pet parent is the almost certainty you will one day lose them, as their life span is not that of ours as humans. This topic has been on my mind. My dog celebrated her 14th birthday on June 22. I am saddened by the now seemingly daily slow down happening before my eyes. This is not the first time I’ve watched this process, but admittedly am still having difficulty preparing my heart for this discernible decline.
When preparing for loss, I tend to find myself reminiscing and playing back events. I keep rewinding the VHS tape in my mind and remembering my first years with her. 14 years ago. A lifetime ago… I remember so clearly the first day she came into my life, the day we became family. I can see her sweet, jet black puppy face looking up at me, and how she used to fall asleep in my arms on the couch. She and I had so much fun at the park and just going for a ride with the windows down. I can still picture her always laying at my feet, so proud to be part of the raging parties I used to throw on my back deck. I can remember all of this like it’s yesterday.
Time has changed so many of these things. The days of crazy deck parties have been replaced with my two young boys birthday parties and the freedom of driving with the windows down is a bit jaded with kid sunshades in the windows. We still frequent the park, but mainly to ensure one of the boys doesn’t fall off the playground. Although at 20 I could have cared less about her stinking up my piece of junk futon, the 34 year old me doesn’t allow her on the couch. But, as tears come to my eyes as I write, I’m reminded of the things that have never changed. How her now salt n’ pepper face is still so sweet looking up at me, and how she still always wants to be right at my feet despite the screaming toddlers running around. Hers and my family of two has now become much bigger, as did my love for her and her patience for change.
Those of you that know me, or shop with me know I generally have an answer and an opinion on most things. I wish I had my typical laundry list of answers on how to cope with this eminent struggle, but I don’t. Some of us will be faced with very difficult decisions at the end. South Bark can help you with the resources you need to assist in your decisions. Please lean on us if you need referrals for vets (traditional or holistic), euthanasia options, diet, pain management or just to listen. We understand your struggle, and are hear to help. I know in my heart that anyone reading this no matter how difficult, will make the right decisions for their family. I also know that no matter how hard it is to watch the decline of an aging pet, any amount of pain we feel is worth the love, support and growth you go through together.
Manager, South Bark Dog Wash