Saturday, August 16, 2014

Letter To My Aging Dog

Dear Precious Mercedez:

When we went for our walk today, you YAWNED.  I couldn't believe it.  Walking was always your favorite pastime.  I looked at you and realized you were tired - aging and BONE tired.  It was hot outside and you wanted the coolness of your room. 

Was it that long ago when I came home from work, you would run in circles with great anticipation of a walk?  Didn't matter what the weather was like -- didn't matter if it was dinner time. What mattered was Mom was home and you could now go for a walk. Weekends were even more exciting. Weekends meant a trip in the Jeep to the mountain where you could run until you were ready to collapse.  The last time I took you on one of those runs, three wolves crossed our path and I decided we would rethink this weekend trek.

Then it happened.  I came home from work one day and the throw rugs in the entry way were askew. When I walked into the kitchen, the rugs in there were in a pile.  What on earth happened?  And where were you?  You didn't come running to the door, leash in your mouth, tail wagging.

You were in your bed, looking scared.  When you saw me you got up, but immediately fell down again.  You got up again and this time, as you walked, you faltered.  You tried to walk into the kitchen but you could only walk sideways.  I was scared too.  Was it time?  Were you going to say good-bye to me now?

It was Friday and your dad and I decided to see how you would fair through the weekend.  By the time Monday rolled around, you were doing considerably better.  In fact, you were walking straight, but slower.  Sometimes, you stopped quickly and just stood there.  You did not appear to be in pain or discomfort, just a bit confused.

That was about six months ago and I look at you now and see how you have aged.  I believe you had a stroke that Friday.  I will never know.  I only know that your time is soon and my heart breaks a little more each day when I think about it.

When I come home from work, you do not greet me at the door.  It is not for lack of interest, it is for lack of hearing.  I realize you can no longer hear the door open.  I have to shout to call you from another room.  If I need your attention, I now gently tap your shoulder.

This month you celebrated your 14th birthday and I am not ready to say good-bye to you yet.  I am confident you will let me know when it is time to go especially if you are hurting.  Right now, I believe you are just old and tired.  Some days, I know how that feels.  Although I'm not 98 yet -- as you are in dog years!

I will not cry my tears yet.  I will not talk about what you used to be like.  I will leave that for another day.  Today, I will share what you are like now.  How much I love you now.  How much I want to be close to you now.  How much I love to cuddle you now more than ever.  How precious, sweet and gentle you are now and always have been.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your Human Mommy

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