Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Real Problem With Pets

Yesterday I wrote about some of the day-to-day problems with pets; today I want to write about the real problem with pets – and that problem is that pets normally do not outlive us. I was reminded of this recently when my daughter-in-law’s 18 year old dog died. She had had him since she was in high school and, during the last few years, we got to know him and care about him. He wasn’t my pet but I loved him just the same him – I was Grandma to a dog.

When we first met Caesar he was still able to go for a run with us around the lake in Austin. When my son and daughter-in-law lived with us for nine months when they first moved back from Texas, Caesar was still able to get up and down the stairs in our home. However, his health, eyesight and strength had declined dramatically over this past year. I often looked at Caesar and realized that as he aged, the rest of us also age. He was less able to participate in day-to-day activities, but he still relished a special event when he could be at the center of the activity. A trip to visit us for Sunday dinner perked him up, even though he was only able to lay on his bed in the family room. It was difficult for him to get up and move around, but when the other dogs or the cats ran around and played, Caesar would perk up his ears and sometimes even try to get up and romp around for a few minutes. His was a gentle nature; like most dogs he just wanted a little attention, a good pet now and then and, in return, he would curl up his tail in delight when someone he loved came near, making that person feel that they were very special, indeed. As I said yesterday, we have lots of pets; they are all part of our family and, when one leaves us, it leaves a small hole in our hearts. I found a quote recently that said something to the effect that having a pet will bring great joy into your life, but the pet’s ultimate death will also bring great grief. That’s the way it is with so much in life – we get the great joys, the happiness and love only because we are willing to accept the pain that comes with the finale.

1 comment:

Andi said...

"I can think of none other who would pace the floor filled with the hope of my return. Or sit at my feet tirelessly, hoping for a touch or mere acknowledgement. God must have given us these friends to teach us devotion."

I keep this on my fridge door. It is on a card from a former vet, sent after I lost my cat. The cat's predecessor, now 13, was named after that vet.