Here we are, Boomer, going on 16 years. Six-teen. Years! That’s high school, college, six major moves, five hurricanes, two roommates, four jobs, one marriage, two kids, two small businesses, and now another pregnancy. You have gone from being my number one, my ultimate companion, to the almost invisible (let’s face it you’ll never really be invisible at 125 lbs), low man on the totem pole. And my biggest source of guilt.
The truth is no one ever really prepares us for geriatric dog ownership.
You are stinky, lumpy, warty, and ornery. And since your human sister’s arrival two years ago, I have nothing left for you at the end of the day. I know it saddens you. I can tell by the way you look at me, the way you follow me, and the way you ignore my requests (I know you can still hear, BTW). My heart is heavy that you can feel my resentment as I spend my remaining diaper free mornings picking up the trail of horse sized feces, which you can no longer control – before I’ve had my coffee.
I look at you and feel guilt for the loss of the life you once knew. For the loss of the daily walks, which were my last boast of being a “good” dog mom, that we could no longer take due to your front leg. For the fact that I jokingly follow my “I love you’s,” with “you can go to the light (sorry, not sorry, you’ve had a great life).” I look at you, and I feel selfish – because I want to believe that all the love in our home from the two bumbling, giggling, girls and your fur sister are enough for you. Because we (literally) have a family farm that you could go to where maybe you would be happier, but I can’t let you go. I refuse to cast you off because of your stinky, lumpy, warty, and ornery old aged self – because you are my first baby.
I want you to know that I make sure the girls and Bella are gentle with you. That when I received my product gratis, after becoming a Nordic Naturals Brand Ambassador last year, it was the PET Fish Oil I was most excited about. And I take great pride in still being able to give you the best and to help ease your leg discomfort. That I fight fiercely, with all my Mama Bear conviction that I learned from having you first when sending you and Bella to Santa Cruz (the farm) comes up. And that when you have your old age episodes, it saddens our entire family to the core. Know that I still love you dearly, and although I am ready for you to go to the light, I will be devastated when that time is truly upon us.
Most importantly, I want you to know that my relationship with you has become a great lesson for those rough house playing, climbing, ear tugging girls, in that just because we are struggling in our relationship with someone/something, that doesn’t mean we can cast those we love aside. You have touched my life, and now the lives of a new generation in a way that they will remember forever. And that makes all the early morning; horse sized crap, worth it.