Remember when you thought about having a baby?  You worried about getting pregnant, could you handle the pain, and would it be healthy?  You worried whether or not you would be fit parents, could handle the midnight feedings, the colic, the temper tantrums (yours and your toddler’s).  Would you be able to afford to send that child to College, let alone feed and clothe them?  How about the first time you walked into Baby’s “R Us and realized you had no earthly idea what half the equipment was for?

And then you had your first child.  There were sleepless nights, doubts, and fears but you saw that bundle of love and you were overcome to persevere.  You learned, you loved, and 65 years later you are still –

Sleepless, doubtful, fearful but now you not only worry about your baby (they’ll always be your baby) but about their spouse and their children.

Well, Thad and I have spent some time going through some of these same thoughts recently.

“What? You and Thad can’t be birthing babies!  Can you?”

Not strictly speaking – but figuratively.

After three and half years without a dog, I still felt something missing in our lives.  That and the fact that I can’t walk by a dog – any dog, without stopping to pet it, love it, and wanting to take it home with me.  My neighbors are kind people but did not take kindly to that idea.

On a recent walk I told Thad what I was feeling. It was more like a spewing volcano-like stream of consciousness.

“Thad, you have to keep me away from dogs.  I still miss our dogs.  I still crave the love I received and the love I gave and my feelings have gotten stronger rather than weaker.

And I really shouldn’t have these feelings because we don’t need a dog, do we?  We are happy with our life, right?  We always say to each other how blessed we are to live near the kids and the grand kids and we even have a grand dog.  Life is great, really it is.”

I took a deep breath and continued to erupt.

“And, we shouldn’t have a dog because you’re 70 and I’m 65 years of age.  Chances are the dog will outlive us and is that fair to the dog?  I don’t want to see this dog having to adjust to a new family, a new lifestyle.  And I would be like an elephant stomping around heaven spouting a cacophony of expletives if our dog was mistreated I’d probably haunt them.  And frankly, no one takes care of their dogs like we do.  I mean, no offense, but we’ve had friends tell us they want to come back in their next life as our dogs.  But do we have the physical stamina to walk it and the patience to train it?”

Gasping for air I continued: “Oh, I don’t miss walking them in the rain, cleaning their paws, the pee, the tummy upsets, the furniture marks from their teething, or how I learned to sleep hugging the edge of the bed while our yard long dachshund lay sprawled out on my side of the bed.  I don’t miss rushing home to feed them or worried that they had their legs cross trying to hold their urine.  I don’t miss feeling guilty that we were out longer than we should have.  But I do miss that wagging tail and the excitement I received every time I came home.”

And then, blurting out with my final breath –“Thad, you just don’t get excited to see me like that!”  I was out of breath and panting like a dog that had just chased a squirrel up a tree.

With that Thad stopped walking and turned to me and with a solemn and unreadable expression said –     To Be Continued…

Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished.”  – Dean Koontz

 

Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.