It’s been hard the last year watching Nick, our Rat Terrier, and Katie, our Greyhound, clearly become elders. We’ve been lucky over time, that with other than a few minor things, their health hasn’t been an issue. Their mobility and ability to fend for themselves while we aren’t here hasn’t been a problem. They haven’t required many medications or focused care.
Unfortunately, all things change and that’s not longer true. Both need meds that have to be administered regularly. Nick has Cushings and that condition requires one of us to be with him in the morning and evening. He has to go out very often. It’s also obvious that he has some arthritis. Kate has started to lose the strength in her back legs. Her back legs aren’t as stable. She can’t pick them up very high. She has some signs of arthritis as well. That means Kate can’t traverse the stairs to the third or second floor; those stairs are simply to old for her, meaning, narrow and too steep. She’s also having some trouble sometimes going
out the back door to the yard, though at the moment we’ve been able to help with that. We have to be mindful of her having more space to walk and turn around in a room and we have to put toys back in their toybox, so she doesn’t trip over them. Both get lonely and frustrated more easily. They sleep much more and at odd times.
Much like humans as they age, the transition can be humbling experience. I can’t imagine it is very easy for either of them emotionally. Their minds are the same rambunctious, headstrong, playful youth they have always been, but their bodies don’t respond the same way any longer.
I’m sure many of you have wondered why I’m not at events as much or why Stan and I aren’t doing as much together with our non-profit work and the answer is simple. I promised I’d be there for Nick and Katie for as long as they lived when we adopted them and I’m not going to neglect them when they need me most; that means I just don’t have the time to offer, at the times I used to. Since Stan and I decided not to have human children, our companion animals are our children. I love them with all my heart.
I’ve also learned things since we had to let George go two years ago. I don’t know how much time I have left with them, so I savor each moment with them. I take many more pictures. I pamper them more. We try to make their life as good as we can, with the new constraints we have. It means I can’t be away from the house as much and only for certain times of day. It can be a real challenge sometimes, but they are worth it. They have always been worth it. They will always be worth it.