Two weeks after my daughter was born I was home nursing when I heard a crash. I ran to find Austin was having trouble standing. She kept tipping over like she had no balance. I rushed her to the vet and was told it was either seizures or the cancer was pressing on her spine and causing the issue. They gave her steroids and the issue stopped.
A few months later she began having trouble holding her bladder. We began months of hormone treatments and bought doggie diapers for her. I got accustomed to two babies in diapers.
Over the couple months there have been a number of times where I thought it was Austin's last days. She is so thin, can no longer make it up and down the stairs, and frequently needs her diaper changed. Her appetite comes in bursts as well as her energy; and yet she powers on.
Austin's heart is so big and she loves us so much that I think she would live forever if she could. I think she would spare us the heartbreak of losing her if she had the power. She is such a loving dog!
I'm grateful for one more weekend with my fur-baby. I'm grateful for each day that I wake and see her breathing peacefully on her bed. I'm grateful she got to meet my daughter and for how gentle she is around the now crazy toddler. I'm grateful for the love and tenderness my daughter has for Austin. I'm grateful to have the strength to carry her up and down the stairs. I'm grateful to still cart her out to my parents' house each week so she can enjoy the yard and excessive treats, even if she doesn't run and play anymore. I'm grateful for what an amazing dog she has been. I'm grateful for the strength of her huge heart as she continues to love us unconditionally. And I'm grateful to reassure her that she will always be in our hearts even when she chooses to leave her body behind.
It is hard to watch my first baby fading away. But I find gratitude in all the years and experiences we've had together. I find gratitude in trusting that she will go when the time is right. And I find gratitude in trusting what awaits her once she leaves this place.
Gratitude is not always bubbles of joy. Sometimes gratitude is the solemn comfort our heat needs to continue forward. What are you grateful for today? Are you feeling the exuberant kind of gratitude or the calm reassurance?
May today remind us that no matter how it looks, gratitude can bring us strength. May we trust in the paths our loved ones choose to travel and be grateful for each day and memory we create. Have a beautiful day!