3 days ago
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
That is not an original sentence and one that almost every person who has lost a beloved pet has thought when time just-runs-out.
I've lost my little buddy Mighty Dog after 16 years of constant companionship. I knew he was in the end stages for a while now but I truly hoped we had a little more time.
We spent his last days together in almost constant touch. If my hand got tired from stroking him and I stopped, his nose would sneak under my hand and bump it, asking for 'just a bit more please'. I could not refuse.
Food became repulsive to him, his gate became unsteady, and he just wanted to rest close to me and be petted. When he could no longer even hold down water, I knew it was time. The only positive about his last days is that he was never in pain. He had an incredibly low threshold for pain and would have let me know at the first twinge. For that I am grateful. His passing was not sudden and we had a fairly long goodbye but I'd have loved just one more day, as long as it was a good one for him.
Sixteen years ago Mighty walked up to my property in the remote Florida countryside as a really cute, dumped out, terrier mix. He was approximately a year old. He just appeared at my gate by the road one day.
When I opened the gate, he marched on in. Purposefully he head straight for my home, pranced up on the porch and stood before the door. It was almost like he had been there before. When I opened that door, he strut on in, jumped up on the couch, turned around a few times and almost immediately fell asleep. The stress of being a stray is evidently exhausting.
That day, he declared me his friend and caregiver in no uncertain terms. I was not given a choice in the matter but I haven't regretted one minute of the past 16 years except his last days when I realized neither I nor medicine could make him better.
I have cared for over 250 dogs in my lifetime with my rescue work but have only had a few "pets." The rest were those just passing through while I patched them up and searched for a permanent home for them.
Mighty was one of the best and longest lived of my "pets." We have traveled many miles, hiked both beaches and hills, shared quiet moments and often laughed--well I did all of the laughing. The little guy could crack me up. He never quite understood my sense of humor but never judged me harshly for laughing at his sometimes embarrassing moments. This link sums up the little guy. I am so grateful for the many posts and pictures I have.
As painful as it is to feel this aching emptiness, I am so very grateful for the 16 great years we had together. We all know when we pick up and hold that cute puppy that steals our hearts, this day will come. A rather hard, inescapable fact of life. At least, we had a long run.
As much as losing him hurts like blazes, I feel the pleasure of pet ownership so out weighs the inevitable pain. I take comfort in hoping my Mom, who loved animals and willed me her tender heart, has him wrapped in her arms, is stroking his head while pointing out some rabbits that need exercise. He would really liked that.
I know some of you have gone through this very same scenario and understand the crushing pain. Sadly, it is not an exclusive club we belong to.
Mighty was my last dog . At my age I would fear dying before my pet and that is unthinkable. That rarely works out well for the dog.
I will probably not be by your sites to read your posts for a few days. I just need some time to heal. I will see you soon.
Thank you for listening.
at 5:47 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti