Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Saying good bye to an era-

For a very long time, I've had dogs. Specifically, two special dogs in my life. When I was young, we were given Babies by my grandmother, he was already a year or two old. When I was 14, my mother got me a wonderful black lab puppy, and I named her Pokey. She was my girl. On December 28 last year, she turned 13. In February, we had to say goodbye.

Today we said goodbye to our other dog, the old grumpy man. He was 16. We often joked about him living forever, because despite the years nothing seemed to slow him down. It's true that his face has turned white with age, but his spirit was still that of a pup (a very disobedient and ornery pup, albeit). But, despite his spirit, his body was slowly failing him. He was 16 after all.

Having senior dogs hasn't been easy. I missed the days when they were young, when they could get around with ease, when they weren't in pain, when they weren't incontinent, when they still played chase with us. I loved the docile nature that age brought with it, the sleeping at my feet, or resting their heads on my lap at peace, staying near me just to be near me. It was different, but it was nice too. If it wasn't for their bodies failing them.

In some ways, losing them hasn't been as hard as it could have been. I take comfort in the fact that they lived long and wonderful lives. They chased horses and squirrels. They swam in lakes and ponds. They ran in fields and woodlands. They ate pig ears and cookies, snuck into the trash, and chewed up their fair share of children's toy! They lived the stereotype of what a dog should do. They lived their lives to the fullest. And for that, I am so thankful.

It's weird coming home to a house devoid of barking. To see the food bowl sitting, with food still in it that will probably never be eaten (the cats have taken a liking to dog food, so we won't count that out). But what I'm saying is, to a bowl that he will never eat from again. That she will never fight with him about again. That will never be used by our dogs again. It's been such a huge era of my life, and now it's gone.

It's true, I could get another dog. But I don't want another dog. I want my dogs, I want them how they were when they were young and full of spunk. I want them when they were at the height of their youth, bursting with excitement and love. I want them when they weren't in pain. When they weren't suffering the effects of old age. I want them from when getting up and down wasn't a chore, but a given. I want them back the way they used to be.

Someday we will get another dog, but not now or anytime soon. The last few years have been so hard. It's one of those things you don't really think of when you get a puppy. You don't imagine how hard it's going to be when they can't get around anymore, when they can't control themselves anymore, or how hard it's going to be to say goodbye.

Rest well my sweet puppies.
I'll always miss you.


St Elsewhere said...

So sorry for the old Mr. Grumps.

Of course, you could get another dog. But no, nothing replaces the ones that are gone. I hope both of them are in canine heaven.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to lose pets. My elder cat is going to be 14 next year, and while that's not terribly old for a cat, I know that she probably doesn't have much more than 6 years at the most. I don't even want to think about it.

blueeyedtawni said...

it is hard to lose a part of your family. even our furry ones.
Im glad they had a good long life and knew they were loved.lots of hugs

Janet's page said...

I'm so sorry! It's so hard loosing them!! said...

((HUGS)) I'm sorry about losing your dogs. It took me a few years after my dog died to even think about another one because Sa.die was so awesome I knew no one could compete with her and my memories with her.

Thinking of you.

Celia said...

I am so sorry. One of our cats is 14 and creaks around the house like an crabby old grandpa. He has taken to sleeping in our closet. Likely because it's the only place to get some peace. Your dogs had an awesome life.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I am so sorry you will be missing your buddy. I agree 100% with what you said with ageing pets. My cat died at 14 and she was so sick the last 2 years. And my dog now is 13 and ill/ uncomfortable. I find myself missing their younger selves sometimes and I always feel bad for the dog who is still here. However, I am sure your pals had a great life. This is so very difficult though. Thinking of you.

Rebecca said...

You brought tears to my eyes. Wishing I could comfort you in person. Maybe your cats will ease your pain today. Sorry about your loss.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

What sweet dogs. Sorry for your loss.

AnotherDreamer said...

Thank you so much for all your kind words everyone. I appreciate it.