Loving a senior dog is easy. Taking care of a senior dog…well, that takes a lot more patience, understanding and loads of laundry. To all of you who care or who have cared for a senior pet…this blog posting is dedicated to you.
At 16 years old, Lucky is an old guy….a
senior geriatric dog. Seeing him struggle with the ailments of old age is one of the hardest things to watch. I feel so helpless knowing I cannot ease his pain. I can give him medications, but the arthritis will continue to make his legs weaker. I can shower him with love after his accidents and his confused eyes plead for forgiveness – but I cannot make them stop. I can take him on short walks, but I know we will never again spend hours exploring our favorite spots at Stone Mountain Park.
Every morning, I give him a big hug and shower him with kisses. I fill his love tank up for another day and I tell him I am so happy he is still here. I think about all the extra time spent caring for him – and then I smile, because I am so grateful because I am still lucky enough to wrap my arms around his perfectly spotted body. Then I head into the kitchen to start mashing a sweet potato for breakfast.
Loving and caring for Lucky is such an honor. While it means many adjustments to the life we once knew with him, I wouldn’t have it any other way. What does life with my sweet old dog mean?
It means waking up every 2 hours to let him outside so we have fewer accidents in the house. And, when he doesn’t make it out fast enough, it means cleaning up.
It means cooking big batches of rice, vegetables and meat every 2 weeks. It means pureeing and freezing the food so he has a homemade stew for every meal. And it means I get to see his big brown eyes smiling as I prepare his food, and his prancing around the kitchen as he waits impatiently to be fed.
It means having a house that will never win an interior decorator award. A house completely dotted with mismatched sheets, towels and throw rugs to protect our furniture and keep his old legs from slipping on tile floors.
It means a lot of changes, adjustments, acceptance and patience…but none of this matters.
What matters is that every morning, when I wake up and see my sweet old boy laying next to me, his stomach slowly rising up and down with each breath, I can be thankful for another day of his love. For his sloppy kisses. For feeling his soft velvety fur. For cuddling on the couch. For seeing his tail wag. For having my shadow for another day.
I wouldn’t trade every extra sloppy kiss, hug or moment of cuddle time for a better-decorated house or less loads of laundry.
I hope you get the honor of caring for a senior soul. It is a roller coaster ride many days, with moments of happiness, fear and gratefulness randomly taking over. I know how lucky I am to still share my life with Lucky – these wonderful moments will forever be etched in my memories, while the minor inconveniences will long be forgotten.
When we decided to take the risk and open Second Life, we had Lucky in our thoughts. He was our inspiration, the reason why we put our life savings into a venture that had no guarantee of success. Having the chance to bring Lucky to work with me is a lifelong dream. But giving other homeless pets a second chance at life, like Lucky’s guardian angel did for him, is our bigger mission. Every homeless animal should get a chance to grow old with a loving family. To have his or her love tank filled every day. Oh, and for the lucky ones, to get lots of sweet potatoes.
Second Life Thrift Store, Inc. is an upscale thrift store located in historic downtown Avondale Estates just minutes from the DeKalb Farmers Market, downtown Decatur and I-285 in the metro Atlanta area. We are a registered non-profit in the state of Georgia and have applied for 501(c)(3) status. Our mission is simple – to offer a quality thrift shopping experience that encourages recycling and reuse while supporting animal rescue organizations in their goal to find homes for homeless pets and reduce pet overpopulation. Save Money. Save a Pet’s Life.
Second Life Upscale Resale • 1 N. Clarendon Avenue • Avondale Estates, GA 30002
Phone: 678-974-5671 • www.secondlifeatlanta.org • firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Wednesday – Friday 10:30 – 6:30; Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-5, Closed Monday & Tuesday