Nothing as wonderful as the love of an old dog

The Brindle Dog's sweet grey beard and stumpy teeth.

The Brindle Dog’s sweet grey beard and stumpy teeth.

The health scares my old Brindle Dog has had lately are eating at me. I find myself drawn to posts about dogs who have just died, dogs at death’s door, dogs whose euthanasia has been scheduled. I’m reading the eulogies and final farewells and fond reminiscences, and getting all teary-eyed and sniffly.

I refuse to believe this is my instinct speaking. The Brindle Dog is only eleven years, eight months, and three weeks old. I could have lots more time with her. She still chases after sticks and barks at other dogs and gobbles up her food and digs under the deck. She doesn’t do those things with as much speed or grace or stamina as before, but she is still fully engaged with her own life.

I refuse to believe this could be my Good Animal Voice trying to prepare me for something. I refuse to even sit still with that possibility and listen for its truth. Instead, I read about the old or dead or dying dogs of other people, and for those moments, my heart is full of their pain (which has been and will again be my own).

I’ve commented on so many of those blogs and Instagram pictures and Facebook posts and tweets. How many variations can I come up with for “There is nothing as wonderful as the love of an old dog” and “I am so sorry for your loss”??? I don’t even try to vary it. I mean it deeply and sincerely. To have the love and trust of an old dog, to know an old dog inside and out, to be the one that old dog turns to in moments of fear or joy—it’s corny to say it, but this is a gift and a privilege.

I prefer to let my mind and heart slide away from the fact of the Brindle Dog’s mortality. I am not ready. I can’t imagine ever being ready for this. But someday, when she needs me to step up and do the last loving act I can do for her, I will hold her and talk to her while she goes on her last adventure. I hate it. Every time, I hate it. But when she is ready to go into the kind darkness, I will help her get there. Meanwhile, I am pretending that day will never come.

 

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9 thoughts on “Nothing as wonderful as the love of an old dog

  1. princessbutter

    We have a way of thinking that our dog will be invincible and forever. Sadly, they have to pass on to chase squirrels on the other side of the rainbow bridge. 😔 A big hug to your pup, from someone who still has trouble digesting that when she goes home this December, a wagging tail won’t be found.

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    1. nissetje Post author

      Thank you! Your Moony was one of the dogs I was thinking of as I wrote this. Your dad’s tribute was so lovely. So sorry that waggy tail is gone. I’ve just called my girl over to give her some ear scritches from you and now she’s pawing at me: “For Dog’s sake, Mama, don’t stop!!!”

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  2. nissetje Post author

    Thank you! Your Moony was one of the dogs I was thinking of as I wrote this. Your dad’s tribute was so lovely. So sorry that waggy tail is gone. I’ve just called my girl over to give her some ear scritches from you and now she’s pawing at me: “For Dog’s sake, Mama, don’t stop!!!”

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    1. nissetje Post author

      Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate that. It’s such a hard thing, but I think it would be way worse to NOT be there at the end. This will be my fourth time, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier! BUT!!! As I believe I mentioned above, the Brindle Dog will live to be 40, so I won’t have to face it for a long time! 😉

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  3. Problems With Infinity

    My dog, Myoki is 11 too- and I completely relate to how you feel. I’m always so extremely worried about her, to the extent that I’ve actually cried about what it will feel like when I lose her. She’s had cancer, and has lost a few teeth, so I know that the day is coming- but I keep hoping it will never get here.

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  4. messupdressup03

    True that! It’s always nice to read about dogs, me being a dog lover too. .Happy to connect ❤
    Do check out my writings too, will appreciate your reviews 😇

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  5. Pingback: The Brindle Dog Goes for a Checkup | Barking Back

  6. Pingback: Two Dogs Humping (on me) | Barking Back

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