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  • Writer's pictureDr. P

This Old Dog

I wrote this on my facebook page this week. I have had the hard task, as well as the honor, of helping my clients in making that difficult decision....when is it "that time." Many of them come in tears, sobbing that their friends and family are pushing them to "put that dog out of his misery."

Then we have the discussion... Basically I am brutally honest. Ignore them...this is none of their business. This dog may have helped them through a very difficult time; the death of a loved one, the loss of a home, a severe illness or chemo. Sometimes this dog gave them the only reason to get out of bed every morning. You will know when it is time. He or she will tell job here is done....I'm ready.

This old dog.

You see an old dog.

I see him as a puppy, eating my spa cover, chasing my birds at the feeder, barking at the neighbors, tearing the kids' T-shirts as they ran and squealed.....that fluffy white ball of fluff.

I see the athlete, that would not stop chasing that ball, until my arm ached.

The dog with that big, black nose, that no matter where we threw that ball, could sniff the air and find it withing 30 seconds..every time!

I feel him as the cold nose that gently nuzzled my face, when faced with a horrible family crisis, he heard me, curled up on the kitchen floor, crying, and helped me the only way he knew how.

I still feel his presence as the single mom, able to sleep soundly at night, knowing we were all safe as long as he was there watching and always listening.

I see him as the twilight came, visiting the ranch, feeling the freedom, but not quite able to take the steps to enjoy it fully...but still taking it in.

I see the grumpy old man, so bothered by all the new faces, that slowly wanders up to the old little dogs, and gently wags his tail with recognition of an old friend.

I see an old dog, whose body is failing him, but his mind and heart are still young and agile.

You see an old dog that stumbles...that slips getting up...that struggles to keep up with the young dogs. That sometimes is embarrassed as I clean up the stool he dropped because he could not make it to the door in time. You ask, why don't you let him go. I answer.

When I needed him , he was there. He was my companion, my protector, my friend. He gave his all to me and now I owe it to him in his old age to care for him like he is my 90 year old grandpa.

You see an old dog.

I see my friend.

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