As is often the case when children enter the picture, dogs get pushed to the side. We do our best to include her but it has been a hard adjustment, especially this last year.
Two and a half years ago Pippin went from being the baby to being the dog begging for attention. Within the last year she lost her best friend and "big sister" and had old age attack her own body. No longer having another dog at home to spend time with when we are away has brought on behaviors that have meant kenneling her when we are gone and her lack of socialization has curbed any chance of us getting another dog to keep her company. On top of that she can rarely make it on walks with us anymore because of the arthritis crippling one leg.
I do my best to give her special "mommy and me" time while my daughter is napping but I know it is not enough. My husband does the same after my daughter and I go to bed at night. But between age and sadness a lot of her spunk has been drained. It is sad to watch and one more thing I have to battle to forgive myself for and not let guilt creep in.
She is a great dog and I will do my best to make today special. She has taught me so much over the years about what is important and how to properly play. Pippin is a great model for using her voice to be heard and communicating her needs. I love her spunk and I'm happy to see some of it returning as we find some pain management options that seem to be working.
I'm grateful for twelve great years with this sweet dog. I'm grateful to believe she has at least a couple more in her to share. I'm grateful to see life and these hard changes from her perspective and try to remain compassionate. I'm grateful to recognize the guilt and shortfalls it stirs in me so I can work through that and keep my focus positive. I'm grateful to try to carve out special time for her today and every day. I'm grateful to have her accompany us on shorter walks when she is up for it and offer a special treat when she cannot. I'm grateful to search for good pain management options for her and find one that seems to be helping. I'm grateful for all the lessons she has taught me about speaking up, loving unconditionally, and being yourself no matter how silly it may look. I'm grateful for this beautiful dog and her resilience through all the changes we have traversed together.
What kind of pet do you have? How have they improved your life and how do you return the love?
May today remind us to nurture our pets as much as they nurture our hearts. May we find time to give them the one thing they likely want most, our attention. Have a beautiful day!