I have been bad this week. I have spent a lot of time telling my puppers that he can’t ever leave me…
A big part of that is he is getting older and not doing so well. I mean, the vet says that for his age he is healthy… But the arthritis and all are taking effect on him.
My dog is a 13 year old Yellow Lab/Sheppard mix and between him wearing his own hips out playing fetch and just being a larger breed, the years are catching up with him. He has lost a lot of his energy over the past few months. And this week…this week I have really gotten the slap in the face that his time with me is getting shorter and shorter.
At my house, to get my pup outside to play or do his business, he has to go down a flight of stairs off the back deck. Additionally, we typically hang out in the downstairs den, while my bedroom is upstairs. This week has been bad both on him and on me as he has really struggled with the stairs. There have been a couple of times where he has been trying to get up or down the stairs and his legs have literally given out on him and so he sits there, his butt on the ground, looking like he is humiliated until I come and help lift his bottom so he can get his legs back under him. He is also hesitant to go up and down the stairs right now, often taking him 10-15 minutes to actually find the resolve to try and tackle the stairs to begin with.
Its been hard for me to watch. He has always been so spunky and happy. Every time he sees stairs now, you can almost see him quiver with nervousness. You can tell he knows that its going to be a struggle and, sadly, I am not sure what else I can do.
When I had a smaller dog that developed neuropathy in her back legs, I was able to carry her up and down the stairs. My current furbaby isn’t so small though. At about 90 pounds and with the muscle mass I have lost in transitioning, I am unable to pick him up and carry him up and down the stairs. All of this has left me thinking…
What am I going to do when he can’t go up and down the stairs?
Also…he has been with me through all of my transition and I don’t know how I am going to deal with an empty house when he has been the one being I know I can come home to that is going to love me regardless.
I know the second statement is a bit extreme but its the sort of thing I think late at night.
Soooo…knowing that I am not ready to lose him, I keep telling him every day, “You can’t ever go away.” I know I have no control over it and I know I will recover whenever his day comes to go to the Rainbow Bridge. I also know that when the time comes, I will do the humane thing and take him to the vet and sit with him so he can take his final breathes with his head in my lap and my showing him how much I love him.
It’s amazing how much our pets become people in our family. I have always been amazed at how that happens. And this furbaby…for a few different reasons has become so incredibly special to me.
I do love him and until he tells me he has to go, I am going to keep reminding him that he can never leave me. ♥
See it on Flickr.