June 12, 2013

A lifetime of love

It has been a little over one year since we buried our beautiful yellow Labrador, Woody.  There are still many days when I slip and call our other Lab by his name, but, mostly, we have gotten to the point that warm memories outweigh the sadness.

In the ensuing year, we have had not one, but TWO near death experiences with the dachshund gifted to us by my friend Whited.  I can say with great certainty that Whited's gift has likely resulted in quite the college fund for our veterinarian's children.  First there was the emergency abdominal surgery and week of hospitalization due to the sausage dog's affinity for ingesting carpet fibers.  More recently, the brown hound got himself snakebit - non-venomous but calamitous and expensive to treat, nonetheless.  I have recently learned that on the occasions that Roscoe has been hospitalized, he is often found being cradled and carried around by the good doctor.  While it is fantastic that our vet adores our dog and gives him extra attention, I hope all those 'leave him here over the weekend' hospitalizations weren't just so the doc would have fond company while he was on call!

Also in the past year, Gus, the Lab, had a cancerous mast cell tumor removed from just above his ear.  Believe me, there aren't many visits to the vet clinic that don't involve a call to the bank to temporarily raise my daily debit card limit so I can pay the dog bill.

The other night, Gus began exhibiting signs of an ear infection, so a visit to the doggie doc was in order.  As they gave him the once-over, the doc noticed another mass that concerned him.  They aspirated it and have sent it off to pathology.  I am trying to be optimistic, but my heart is breaking a little at the possibilities.

People often mention the unconditional love of pets, and it is, most definitely, one of the reasons that we love them back so fiercely.  But, tonight, I am consumed with the thought that losing a pet hurts so deeply because we love them their whole lives.  We know when we get them that it is likely that we will also bury them one day.  As humans, we often face our own mortality, but we know that part of us lives on in our children and our accomplishments. 

Perhaps it is a maternal thing, but I am awed by the privilege of caring for these lovely beasts and of seeing them through every stage of their lives.  It is both a burden and a blessing, loving an animal.  I think we are better for it.

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

I try to live my life to be worthy of my dog' love.