3. Do Margret's install
2. Pick up donated computers from Renew Data
1. Take my oldest and best friend to the vet and have him put to sleep.
My oldest and best friend is Shadow.
First off, my Shadow isn't "just a dog". He has been part of my life for 15 years and he has seen the good and the bad in those years.
There were extremes of both.
Let me tell you something about the bond between a person and a dog. it can grow just as deeply as any other relationship you might have in your life. The main difference you must understand is that your dog is dependent upon you for both his health and happiness.
If you chain a dog up in the back yard and neglect him, you should be beaten to the point of physical therapy.
And those of you that state a dog does not feel emotion...you lose on two counts.
You are wrong and you have not been blessed by the love of a dog.
And through it all, he was my dog. He tolerated others in my life, but that's all he did. He stayed at my side, slept in my bed, rode shotgun in my car, ate with me at the kitchen table and waited for me to come through the front door every time I left.
He is fiercely independent, and is what I refer to as a proximity dog. He doesn't necessarily want to be touched, but he does want to be close. He moves from room to room as I go about my business. Now he lays two feet away from my chair, not quite sleeping but resting and ready to get up as I go out to the kitchen or living room. Unfortunately, now he cannot. Shadow has been that way all of his life.
It started out with what I thought was simply old age and arthritis. He hesitated briefly to get up into a standing position and was careful as to how he laid down...always favoring his right side. As the days and weeks past, it got worse and soon he would struggle for several minutes on end until he could gain his feet. Last week, I began carrying him outside to do his business as he could no longer walk or stand. I had to physically hold him in position so he could go to the bathroom. It broke my heart.
The vet was compassionate but no amount of compassion could blunt his diagnosis.
Spinal nerve disease was creeping surly from back to front. He has lost all use and feeling in his back legs and eventually, the paralysis will attack his vital organs.
As of now, he is in no pain, but when it reaches his organs, it will be hell on earth for him. I cannot allow that.
So my little guy, born from Corgi and Border Collie stock...with those short and stout little legs, will take one last car ride with me tomorrow morning at 10 AM. I will give him a strong sedative beforehand as he despises the vet. He will be sound asleep as the needle slides into his vein and the chemical will painlessly and quickly stop his heart.
And in many ways, it will stop mine.
Let me ruin what should normally be a joyful experience for you. The next time you go to the local shelter to pick out a puppy or a kitten for your family, keep one thing in mind above all else.
You will outlive your pet, and you will have your heart broken when the time comes. That's why I follow the Dog Lovers Ten Commandments and I will share them with you now. And please. You can be a "dog owner", but that doesn't mean you are a dog lover. Your dog will know which one you are before you do.
Keep these things in mind as you contemplate adding a pet to your family:
A PET OWNER'S TEN COMMANDMENTS.........
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Always remember that I trust you without reservation. If you call to me from across a busy street, I will come without looking. I know you would never do anything to hurt me.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate and difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.
So now I am going to go stretch my creaky, overweight body down on the floor one last time and lay with my dog for a little while. I'll whisper nonsensical things and stroke his ears. He likes it when I do that. I do so wish I had done more of it.