It’s a dog’s life…

Sorry I’ve been away but I’ve recently had my medical diagnosis take a turn for the worst: I have pancreatic cancer, Stage IV and it has metastasized, late stage.  In other words,  I’m dying, and soon.

Awhile back I wrote the following blog to have it handy when the inevitable happened to Dawg.  But life is full of surprises.   This will be my last post, and it will be me standing on the rainbow bridge waiting for Dawg instead of the other way around.  Nonetheless, it’s a good post, and even though Dawg hasn’t passed on yet, I’m going to go ahead and post it now.  I’ve done my last edit in this world.  And  while it would be nice if  somebody out there reading this appreciates it, that was never my goal.  What I hope is that you all have a nice happy life.  So from Dawg and me, so long, and thanks for all the treats.

NursingWhat is that wonderful smell? Why, it’s food – and something else. Oh, that’s my mommy! She’s warm and fun to nap on and most important, she brings the food! Outta of the way, brothers and sisters, I want my mommy…and more food!

It’s been forever since Mommy brought the food.   I can still smell her on my blankie, but I don’t get to see her anymore. Humans bring food, but it makes me throw up. I miss my mommy.

puppyplayI keep seeing more and more humans. They pick me up and play with me a little bit, but then they leave. A brother or sister sometimes leaves with them and they don’t come back. I miss my brothers and sisters, but mostly I miss my mommy.

I’ve had an adventure! A human came and got me and put me in a room that moved. We drove forever before we came to a place that smelled like a lot of things I don’t recognize. Mostly it smelled like the human. I’ve still got my blankie, but it barely smells like my mommy any more. I miss my mommy.

I’m bored with this adventure. No brothers or sisters to play with and my human doesn’t have any time to play. I want some attention! Maybe if I eat these papers she’ll show me some attention. Well, that didn’t work out as planned. That’s one more room I’m not allowed in now. This is no fun. The food makes me throw up and I miss my mommy.

zeus0001I guess this is what life is like. Another long ride in the room that moves, and I’ve met some more humans. My human has gone away and everything smells different. There’s lots of other dogs here, and each one says they were left by their humans. Some humans come to visit and each one takes a dog with them. None for me yet. I still have my blankie, but it just smells like me and my old human. I miss my mommy.

A human came and played with me. He fed me treats. The treats make me throw up, but they sure do taste good at first. He seems okay, but I’m worried about him. He uses sticks to help him walk. Will he be my human? I don’t care if he’s broken, I just want somebody to be with, if I can’t be with my mommy.

Bed03aAnother adventure. The human took me for a long ride in the room that moves. Mostly I slept. Every time we stopped I got to smell new smells and the human would play with me and feed me snacks, which I’d throw up later. Eventually we got to the human’s home. I know that’s what it is because everything there smells like him and his pack leader. Nothing smells like me or my mommy. I miss my mommy.

Something’s wrong with my human! He’s stopped breathing. Maybe if I poke him, he’ll wake up. That did it — he’s okay now. Leave it to me to get a defective human. I’d better keep close watch over him. I don’t want him to go away like my mommy did. (Sigh) I miss my mommy.

SnowbeardStupid human, every day it’s the same thing. He goes to sleep and then he stops breathing. I have to poke him to wake him up and he pets me and thanks me, but then he tries to go to sleep again. Leave it to me to get a stupid human. Well, this is life, I guess. I watch my human and poke him periodically. Sure does cut into the nap time for me. (Sigh) Nap time…I remember snuggling up to my mommy at nap time when she’d bring the food. Now the human brings the food and snuggles up to me in his bed. He’s found a food I like that doesn’t make me throw up. I think I could learn to like it here. I mean, I still miss my mommy but this is nice too.

Groomed2d9sThis adventure sure is lasting a long time. Everywhere my human goes, I go with him. I daily ride in the room that moves, but we always come back home together. We play a lot and I’ve got tons of toys, and snacks that don’t make me throw up. I get groomed every month (okay, personally I could do without that but my human likes it), and life is good. I just wish I could get a nap in without my human trying to die on me. It’s my job, though, so I have to do it. Every dog has to have a job you know. I think my mommy would be proud of me. I still miss her, but I don’t think about it much anymore. Life is good! I guess I’m finally growing up.

SleepingI’m so tired. I hurt all over and it seems like forever that I’ve been watching my human. Can’t let anything happen to my human. Without him, what would I do for a job? Just a nap – that’s all I need. Just another nap, then I’ll check on my human again. For some reason, I find I’m thinking of my mommy a lot lately. I miss my mommy so much I almost think I can smell her.

rainbowbridgeWell, that was a great nap – I don’t even hurt anymore! Where am I now? Where’s my human? What’s that up ahead? Why it’s a bridge made of rainbows! What’s that I smell? Hey, it’s Mommy! I’m so glad to finally smell her again. I wonder if she brought the food?

After a long and productive life full of adventures, after winning the 2008 Dog Hero of the Year award for his breed, after literally saving his human’s life thousands of times, Dawg finally joined his mother on the Rainbow Bridge…..

He’s happy, but he misses his human. His broken, stupid, defective human really misses him as well.

I’m coming, Dawg.  I’m coming…

 

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Next week is Dawg’s 11th birthday…

old_dog_cartoonSince few Bouvs live past 12 or 13 years, I find myself noticing little things, like how Dawg’s hindquarters shake when he first stands up after a nap.  Or the way Dawg seems to be spending a lot more time sleeping these days.  Or the fact that his “bad days” (days when his spine twists into a pretzel and makes him unable to stand) are coming more frequently.

I guess I’m trying to prepare myself for the day when Dawg won’t be underfoot and in the way any more.  I don’t want to forget to enjoy his time with me now, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about the time to come.  For awhile it looked like he might outlast me — that was a completely different worry, since he’s never known any other partner than me.  But my health is holding steady, while his, very obviously, isn’t.

Some of the things he does for me can be done by a machine.  But there’s no machine out there that can replace his companionship.  I have a feeling this is my last service dog.  The parting is just too hard…

 

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If Dawg could talk…

feedingtime

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