We are a dog family. I grew up with dogs and shortly after we were married we added Cody to our little family. It is hard to believe he is almost 14 years old. And so it is amidst the holiday weekend we are trying to wrap our hearts around a hard decision that we will need to make.
Over the course of months, Cody has had trouble walking with his hind legs losing their strength. At the same time he has started to have accidents with his bowel movements. The vet says his muscles are atrophied and that is why he looks so thin and that’s where his strength has gone. With that he has lost control of this basic function most of the time. When it was happening once in a while it was easy enough to be like, Oh Cody. Now it is two times a day and over the last two nights he has had pee accidents. At the same time, he is bright-eyed, eating and occasionally very playful. He has our one-year-old Weimaraner Pepper to keep him on his toes!
This past January we lost our Molly to canine cancer and she was only 8. It is hard to think we will lose our boy sometime soon in the same year. As a way to prepare them, we have been keeping our girls aware of how he is feeling from day-to-day. When Molly got sicker we would share in the morning if it was a good night or a bad night and what the day ahead would be. We found comfort in the dog poem A Rainbow Bridge and know we will draw comfort again from this poem knowing Molly will be there waiting for Cody.
I look back over the last couple of years and see how our girls have experienced death in our family at such a young age. First a grandpa then right after a close family friend. Earlier this year a beloved dog and this fall another grandma. We have tried to help them process their feelings through these times. Now at 8 and 6 years old they can share with us how they feel and we can talk through these feelings with them. At these times we all have these feelings and they can see and learn from us too.
It breaks my heart to know we have this decision ahead of us and what it will mean for all of us in our family.
Day 28 of National Blog Posting Month, click #NaBloPoMo to enjoy the many other bloggers participating!