I can still remember the day I went to my co-worker’s house to see her litter of puppies. I did not intend to take one home, of course, but as soon as I sat on the floor, the runt of the litter climbed right into my lap and curled up to sleep. She was so sweet and lovable.
It is now 11 years later and she remains that sweet, lovable pup who likes to cuddle at your feet and will stand by your side no matter what. She’s the pup who shares me with two little girls and allows them to lay on her, climb on her, and yes, even dress her up. She has comforted me through life changes simply by laying her head in my lap.
The problem is, she is getting older. She has developed diabetes (after a bout of pancreatitis) and needs regular injections twice daily to maintain her glucose levels. We are still visiting the vet every 2-3 weeks to get that under control, as it seems to be a huge guessing game how many units will do the trick. She is on a special diet and only gets an occasional carrot when she gets her shots. She needs extra attention and guidance because she has gone blind in both eyes and can only see shadows.
The challenge is not caring for a sick and aging dog. I can get through cleaning up after occasional accidents. I can endure the cost of treatments and veterinary care. I can make accommodations to our home, our visitors, our lives.
The challenge is watching her endure something she cannot control, that is slowly causing her to deteriorate.
She remains ever as sweet, ever as lovable, ever puppy-like in her demeanor. She still nuzzles, and cuddles, and wags her tail unceasingly. And she sits right by my side still, where I know she will always be, even long after she leaves her pack.