Having senior pets can be challenging. Having three senior pets at one time can be extremely challenging. But I will tell you why I will be there every step of the way, whenever they need me, for as long as they need me. Our pets are our family members. For me, mine are my kids. I raised my cat, Mac, since he was only hours old - found abandoned in a garbage dumpster shortly after his birth. I have raised my dogs from 8 weeks old. Yes, they are my kids. They are part of me - deep inside my heart and forever in my soul.
In the past year, my little family has had to face a good deal of change. My husband moved out of our home and the boys had to tackle some major adjustments - as did I. It's hard to explain to your pups why their dad is gone and never coming back. He played a big part in their daily routines and I know it was a confusing time for them. With the help of an animal communicator friend, I have come to learn that they are more concerned about me and how I am feeling than they are for their own well-being. How so truly "golden" of them! Golden Retrievers are known for their relentless mission to please everyone. And lucky me - I get to be their mom – top dog, and their True North.
My boys have been loyally by my side like Velcro pillows - every step of the way through my pain - and through my joy. Anyone that has lived with a dog cannot deny that dogs have feelings. I am a believer that their feelings go beyond human emotions. They are bona fide empaths. Walter and Henry are like sponges - literally soaking up my sorrow, selflessly making it their own cross to bear; and yet, in a heartbeat, they so effortlessly rejoice in every single, little delight.
The boys are getting older now and I know I have to confront the inevitable decline in the way-too-short lives of our dear, animal friends. They don't move as comfortably as before. They need a little boost from me when they stand up or climb the stairs. We make more visits to the Vet than we did before. But, no matter how tired or how stiff they seem to be, when I walk through that door in the evenings, somehow - and believe me, I know it must take a great deal of effort - they hoist themselves up off the floor just so they can greet me at the door with that exuberance only a dog can exhibit. Seriously, I don’t know any human that would exert themselves to that extent without complaint. To me, it is the most genuine and truest love. It’s that completely pure, unconditional love that we humans are either not capable of giving or just not willing to show.
In all the years I have lived with these fiercely devoted animals, I have come to believe that a dog’s feelings are far more intense than human feelings. We humans are capable of loving and hating the same person (sometimes at the same time!) where I believe that once dogs love a human, they will always love that human, no matter what. And each time they see the ones they love, they simply can’t help but show how truly happy they are. How fortunate are those who have lived with dogs and have known that kind of devotion!
So, as they grow older, and may not be as “easy” as they were when they were younger and could easily get up off the floor on their own, climb stairs without a boost, run around the dog park with boundless energy, effortlessly jump up into the bed and cuddle every night…I will be by their sides through every ache, every pain and every thrill they experience - not just because I know they would do no less for me….but because I want them to know I would never do less for them.