Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Dog's Days

I don't know how many pet lovers are out there, but let me throw you a virtual hi-five if you're in that camp. I am a pet lover. I am a my-pets-run-my-household lover; and proud of it. I have a wonderfully easy cat and one of the most lovable dogs you could ever find. Through the darkness of my marriage ending, my dog, in particular, functioned as a therapy dog. The pitch of my voice would shift in a certain emotional way and she'd come running from where ever she was to give me comfort and attention.

My rescue mutt, Dyna, is going to be 8 this summer and, recently, she's had a bunch of health issues. A year ago she had cancer and this past year she's had a number of different injuries. Through it all, she remains hilarious and loving and joyful, but all of her ailments have driven home the fact that she's getting older. Her snout is grayer, she gets up more slowly and we basically have a monthly visit with the vet. It didn't help that a good friend of mine recently lost her dog who, like my dog Dyna, was a very important member of her family.

In the almost 7 1/2 years I've had her, I've obviously gotten older as well. In those years she's stood witness to some of the major events in my life like moving, getting married, getting divorced as well as an infinite number of minor things. As she gets older, I think about all the other things I'd like her to be here for, like for example, me having kids one day. I watch as my friends children play with Dyna and imagine my own children having that opportunity one day.

I look at her these days, willing her to stay young, healthy and spry and then I think, why not just enjoy the days that I have with her now and not worry about all those future moments? Am I ignoring the present days I have with her by trying to see into the future? Sometimes I feel like I'm mourning my living dog. I am someone who leaps - I leap ahead and wonder about the future. What will my life look like? Where will I be living? Will I have children? Where will I be spending my days? Then I think about this wonderful creature who I was fortunate to have in my life and I think, maybe she's still a therapy dog. Maybe now she's just teaching me to just be where I am - with her - as she takes up more than her share of the bed.

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