Twelve Years Old

Dear Sam:

It’s so hard to believe that you’ve gotten here, baby. Part of me keeps thinking I’m going to wake up and you won’t be here. You’ve defied the odds and proven more than one vet an idiot. For that I am grateful.

You are stubborn, challenging, willful, difficult, and one of the main lights of my life. You’ve taught me so much about handling difficult situations with grace. When to back down from a challenge and when to stand up (though, I still don’t think I can bite someone). You are the quintessentially difficult dog, but I love you all the more for your quirks and your bad habits.

Without those quirks, I would not have been ready to handle some of Ben’s. I would not have known that responding to aggression with aggression is the wrong thing to do. I have scars from the lessons you taught me about that, and while I don’t always love them, I will always wear them as a badge of honor because I learned how to work through with you in a way that I would not have otherwise learned.

You’ve had a hard life. Some would argue that it would have been kinder to you to put you down years ago. I know that you’ve suffered and that you will suffer unspeakable pain. I’m sorry that I’m so selfish as to keep you here and feed you drugs to keep the pain at bay. I’ve promised you (and myself) that the day the medicine no longer works, I will make the call and get you permanent relief.

We have a deal, you and I, you give me the sign and I will make that call. It’s the last loving act I can do for you (well, before you go, I promise you’ll get the cheeseburger, the chocolate, and the tortilla chips that you love, but that don’t love you, and I’ll play “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Wrapped Up in You” on repeat all the way to the vet’s office).

But on the balance, you’ve had a really good year. You’ve been healthy. You have passed all your health screens with flying colors. You’ve played with your ball with Ben (and I have video to prove it). You have watched over Katie as she’s learned to crawl. You’ve defended your children against Peyton (and other hostile invaders).

You have a wonderful heart, Sam. We love you so much. We wish you a wonderful day and will have cheeseburgers tonight. I hope you really, really enjoy it.

Love, Mama (yes, I”m my dog’s mama, want to make something of it? I didn’t think so)

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4 thoughts on “Twelve Years Old

    • Thanks, Marcia.

      Because of a stocking issue, she didn’t get Rimadyl for a day and a half, and by the end of that I was clear, very clear, that without Rimadyl (or some other painkiller), she’s done. She was in so much pain, she could barely walk. Her eyes lost their light. It was awful.

      But, back on the Rimadyl, she’s herself again. I don’t want her in pain, and now I know how much pain she’s in if she’s not on it.

      It did convince P that the medication is necessary for her because he’s always doubted it a bit.

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