It's scary to just be cruising along and living your life with your dogs. Sometimes you take them for granted.
I've learned not to do that. I used to sometimes just give my dogs a head pat after I got home from work and then go about my winding down. Not anymore. Not since Daisy's cancer.
When I look at her with her shaved patches and the hair growing back strangely from the chemotherapy and the missing leg, and the scars, I think to myself how I could have easily lost her. Either one of them. How do I know how much longer I have with either of them? With any of my pets?
Working where I work I see a lot of people who didn't think they were coming in to put their dog down. They thought it was another routine visit and then the ultrasound finds a huge mass or the CT shows something ugly. And on the way home I cry for the dogs who's owners chose not to fight something they could have won. I cry for the dogs who's owners didn't cry for them. SOMEONE needs to recognize that those dogs gave everything they could every day of their life until the very end.
So now I make sure that when I get home I scoop up my little dog and give her kisses on her little, shaved, hopefully-cancer-free belly. I make sure I squish my fat man's cheeks between my fists and plant a kiss right on his gross, wet nose. I grind my hands against his huge ears so that he leans into me and his eyes close. I throw the ball across the house for them and I don't care if their nails are scratching up my hardwoods. I'm just happy they are still here to do it.
And when they're gone, I'll be able to look at the well-loved hardwood floor and remember.
5 years ago