Sweet Waggie

06 Jun

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.

And yet …

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.


Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “Sweet Waggie

  1. Jackie McGowan Lincoln

    June 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Aw Erin, I remember how hard it was to watch my greyhound from high school age and my Aussie deteriorate from cancer…at the same time :(. Heartbreaking and terrifying. I felt such responsibility to balance their quality of life with their loyalty and love for us not to mention our love for them. You’ll know when its time to let her go. It will be obvious. Take faith in that and enjoy her every moment until then. You’re a good mama! {hugs}

  2. ebmaney

    June 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful post, Jackie! 🙂

  3. Pat

    June 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    We have a cat, Simba, with diabetes. A year ago, he could barely walk because the diabetes causes a numbness in the hind legs sometimes. He had accidents as he lay on the floor. We rode quite the roller coaster on how much insulin to give him but finally have it leveled off and, today, he’s pouncing on treats like a kitten and even his eyes and coat look better. But, he’s 11 years old and we are painfully aware that there are probably fewer days ahead than there are behind, especially because of the diabetes. That’s the part that’s hard to reconcile — the part of “playing God.” We lost another beloved cat about 6 years ago and that was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make, but it was an act of love to let her go, as we know the cancer was causing too much pain.

    Each night when its time for his shot, Simba lays in front of the refrigerator — he seems to know it makes him feel better. Though he has slowed down and has his problems, he’s still the same old love that he has always been. When either of us is sick or sad (we’ve both lost parents in the past 6 months), Simba sits quietly, right up against a hip or on the lap, and just purrs. He doesn’t ask for anything, he’s just “there” for us. Sometimes I marvel at how intuitive animals are and wonder why, if we’re the “intelligent” species, we can’t be more like them.

    You’ll know when it’s time. And you’ll know it’s the right thing, no matter how badly your heart hurts.

    • ebmaney

      June 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Pat. What a wonderful gift our pets are!


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