Every single day we make choices. Sometimes we make really big ones which we may or may not have agonized over and sometimes we make instant choices with little thought. They can all change the outcome of our lives in some way. They can all create pain or pleasure in our future and we seldom have a clue, regardless of how well thought out the decision may have been, what the pain or pleasure might be.
We have always had pets in our home. When the kids were here, we had cats, dogs, rodents of varying types and fish. Always wanted pets in our lives and still do.
Our furbabies have kept our empty nest from ever feeling any less than full. They make us smile, give us someone to talk to when one of us is gone or busy. They make us laugh on days when absolutely nothing is funny, except them. Sadie turned 12 in May of this year and Jake turned 13 two weeks later. They are senior furbabies now and we see them not playing quite so much, Jake has aches and pains in his hind legs and sneezes in a weird way, Sadie has allergies and otherwise seems good. They both have cataracts and Jake doesn't hear much, but Sadie lets him know if he needs to be barking an alarm.
They see their doc once a year for geriatric check-ups and this year for heartworm tests. Both were negative for that. Sadie has developed a heart murmur and anemia. Jake's liver enzymes are very high. Doc isn't sure why or if we can correct this; he will have another test this week for more in depth testing. Sadie we will check again in 6 months, unless she develops symptoms, in which case we will be re-checking sooner. At this point, both are asymptomatic. While this is good news inside of a big box of not so good news, it's a slap in the face reminder that my babies are aging and I need to be prepared to accept that they will not outlive me, likely.
The decision to get another dog when our last little princess passed just a few months short of her 18th birthday, was never an option for me, but Roomy was a hard sell. That is until he saw Sadie sitting on the toe of his work boot, front feet on his shin and little black eyes looking right into his a full 6 foot away from hers. Then, well, it was all over. He was in love.
Jake was just as quick to fit into our lives a few months later. He was almost a year old when he came to us and by the second day, one would have thought they'd grown up together; he the older and she the younger, they fell right into a pattern of family. We all just fit together.
Over time, Jake has become a Momma's boy and Sadie is all about Roomy, she's a Daddy's girl all the way. They each love both of us, but clearly, given the choice, he chooses me and she chooses Roomy.
I do the bathing, the doctor visits, the pill giving, the human chew toy game Sadie enjoys now and then and he plays fetch and feeds them. Wonder why she likes him best? LOL The real wonder is why Jake likes me! He is all about FOOD and that comes from Roomy. But, I am the one who swims with him and swimming makes Jakie a very happy pup.
Looking now at facing the inevitable loss of our babies, not now, but not many years from now either, I still would make the same decision we made back then 12 years ago. The love in your life that comes from furbabies is unmatched by any other love. They love unconditionally and they give without expectation. They only want love, food and to be with their humans as much as possible. Unless they are our babies, then they also want treats and carrots. Lots of carrots, please. And they want doggie beds of their own for when they don't want to be on the human furniture. And they want to go bye-bye often, please. Every time the car moves would be best.
The decision to adopt these two has lead us to a ginormous amount of pleasure and ultimately it will break our hearts. The pain of losing either/or is unbearable. No question. Yet, it was a good decision because I truly believe it is always better to have known love and lose it than to never have known love. I know that no one would have given these two more love or better lives than we have. I know that when they are gone we will be devastated and we will again open our hearts to the ultimate heartbreak and adopt again. For me, a home without a pup isn't quite a home for me.
For now, I will keep a close eye on each of them and give them only the best of everything and, as per the doc, no salt and no table food. This does not make them happy, but it will help preserve their health. It is the new law and Roomy has stopped the table feeding, finally. And most importantly I will, as I have since day one, appreciate the privilege of being my furbabies mom. I will touch them as often as they want or need it and I will enjoy every moment of our time together. I will continue to love and be loved.
Like so many decisions in my own life, this one turned out to have a good deal more good than heartache, but the inevitable heartache will be massive. The bottom line, yes, worth it.
Living in the moment...now and always. ~ Jo