This is Wigley Jack, enjoying a sunny, warm spot perched atop a tree stump in our backyard, just this past weekend. He is now eleven years old, and has had a multitude of health problems over the past year, the most serious of which was dental surgery in June to remove eleven teeth (there's that same number again!). We have just found out he has kidney stones or a tumor or something like that, and have made the difficult decision to stop xrays, tests and procedures, and let him enjoy his final days, weeks or months. We feel this is the kindest thing, and also the only choice considering our tight budget. We have spent about $3,000 above normal vet expenses this year, and just can't afford any more.
I've been reflecting on life with Wigley, who has been a stalwart friend through good times and bad....here is what dogs can teach you ...
1. Dogs greet each day the same, with a certain amount of enthusiasm. They don't know if they are going on a vet visit or a special, extra long walk with treats at the end. They never stress about the future, beyond the next meal or arrival home of family members.
2. Dogs love unconditionally - they don't keep a tally of grievances in their heads. They forgive almost anything, and move on from that moment.
3. Dogs love the simple things - a good bowl of kibble, a stroll around the neighborhood, a roll in some soft grass, chasing a squirrel from the bird feeder.
4. Dogs, even an active Jack Russell in this case, will lay uncomplaining by your side when you are sick or recovering from surgery, and never whine because you can't do anything "fun."
5. Dogs make you feel better when you are down, without requiring an explanation from you.
6. Dogs teach you not to be a compulsive house cleaner - what's a little hair, dirt, slobber, throwup among buddies?
7. Dogs trust...I mean REALLY trust...in a way most humans can't.
Have you told the dog in your life how much you love him/her today?:)