My dog is dying and I’m sad.
We’ve known this day was coming, or these days were coming, for a long time – in December he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and we opted not to go through the chemotherapy or oral medications, except a steroid to help him feel better.
And for a while he was great. He seemed so happy. He gained ten pounds. TEN. He was only 35 pounds to start with, so it was a big change. He was so happy to eat, and to run, and it was a little harder for him to run hard or jump in and out of the car, but he could still do those things. And he wanted to do those things.
And then yesterday he lost his appetite.
It’s funny how you think you’ve accepted something until you’re faced with its reality.
He looks tired. And sad.
But today I bought him a rotisserie chicken and he gobbled it up or at least for a bit, until he, I presume, got full and stopped eating. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. At least he got his medicine.
My dog is dying and it feels like I am dying, too. When he’s tired I’m tired. When he hurts I hurt. And we both try to pretend like everything is normal and go on walks and do normal things but we both know our time together is limited and today I cried. A year and a half was not enough for Tanner in my life. A lifetime wouldn’t have been enough.
But we don’t always get to choose and sometimes goodbyes come earlier than they should. And right now this is my practice. It’s loving my dog and knowing he’s leaving us soon and loving anyway, and making him as happy as I can until he is gone. Because that’s all I can do.