As I looked into her face this morning I realised that my faithful companion of the past 17 years is looking old. More worryingly she is acting old. She struggles to get on the bed, doesn’t come up stairs to sit beside me while I’m on the computer as often as she once did, and has lost that sparkle in her eyes.
Needless to say I’m talking about my dog. But apparently the change hasn’t just happened overnight, I just didn’t see it before. According to my daughter this has been a gradual process which has been going on for over a year now, I just didn’t see it. Or more accurately, I didn’t want to see it.
I watched my other dog in her final weeks go from my strong, silent body guard to a dog who could barely manage down the steps to go out for a walk in the end. And the scary thing, which is why I think I’ve suddenly noticed how hold my “baby” is, is that her back legs a\re starting to give way just like her sisters did towards the end.
She has been tripping and falling for a couple of weeks now, and it’s now at an almost daily rate. I’m keeping an eye on her and watching for any signs of pain or discomfort and changes in her eating/toilet routines. But as long as she is plodding on as normal I’m refusing to make that phone call. The call to arrange the one way visit to the V E T.
I’ve had cats and dogs all my life, but so far have only had to take two the vet to be put to sleep, the rest passed naturally or were involved in road accidents (or given away by my dad when he got fed up trying to train them when I was younger). This will be the hardest though as she has been mummy’s girl from day one.
I would never be so crass as to compare losing a pet to losing a child, but it is like losing a member of the family for me. I get so attached, and 17 years is a long time to have unconditional love and affection in your life. There is going to be a void in my life when she goes. It will be the first time in my life that I haven’t had a cat or a dog around the house. My daughter has spoken about perhaps getting a cat, but I don’t think I could face having to go through all this heartache again.
I think from now on it will be goldfish, I don’t get as attached to them!