After quite a long time pretending the inevitable was never going to happen, reality's been kicking in hard for me the past few months. My dog, Ginger, is getting old. This past September, she turned fourteen, and the only difference between ages fourteen, ten and five were that when she was younger, she slept less. But she still had so much energy, so much speed and bounce and strength

But in the past two or three months, it seems like she's slowing down more and more each day. Sleeps longer, is harder to wake up. She's having little accidents on the floor every day. Mom has to wash her bed every day because she has accidents while she's sleeping. She's so, so slow, and mostly blind and incredibly hard of hearing. It's hard for her to jump up on anything or anyone. And I just--god.

Every single day, I pick her up and cuddle her and I can't help thinking--every time--this could be the last time I hold her. And I honestly have no idea how I could be okay in a world where she isn't there to hold. To bounce around and drive me nuts and beg for treats and hog my bed like it's her bed and just be so lovable it hurts.

I don't know how much longer we have with her. Maybe days. Maybe much longer. Please, longer. Months and months longer.

And now I'm really making myself bawl, because just those lines--I am hoping for months with her. I am measuring the time we have left with her in months. I can't even dare to hope for one more year. How can it be at the point where I think months is stretching it?

I've never lost a pet before. We are so lucky we've had her for so long, and yet, no matter how long, it's not going to be long enough. If we have to lose her, losing her like this, slowly, still having her bounce around and driving us bonkers every day--less and less time each day, but still every single day--then we're so much luckier than others. So much.

How does anyone imagine a world without the animals they love? How am I supposed to do it? Maybe I shouldn't try, because the only use that would be is in preparation for losing her, and I don't think there's anything in the universe that would prepare me for that.
ext_2584: (gen peanut)

From: [identity profile]

My husband and I are in your shoes. We have two boxers, the one in my icon is 2.5yrs old, the other is 8. And she is going downhill. I call it "olddogitis". She's got a bad hip and sleeps 95% of the day and is a little senile. I don't think she will be with us this time next year. My husband is in complete denial about the whole situation. But I'm being more realistic.

People who aren't pet owners just do not understand. These dogs are a huge part of our family (your's too from the sounds of it).

This is a nice site for grieving pet owners.

From: [identity profile]

I was in denial for quite a bit, but it was easier for me because even if I knew, logically, that she was getting very old, she wasn't acting old. Just sleeping a bit more. And even once she started having accidents, it was hard for me to admit it. But now I'm just scared and it's hard to be in denial when you're scared. The one thing I'm grateful for is that she's not in pain or sick--just old and tired.

I hope your boxer and my Ginger stay as long as they can.

From: [identity profile]

I think sometimes if you know a loss is coming, it hits you just a little bit less hard, because you've done a good bit of grieving beforehand. That said, I don't think there's any way to make it easy. It will hurt, and you will survive because you have to, and things won't ever be the same but they will, at some point, be good again. *hugs* I've been there more times than I'd prefer.

From: [identity profile]

*hugs back*

Your comment has made me very teary all over again, but in a good way. Thank you so very much for your kind words!

I think you're right about it hitting less. At least this way, I've got it on my mind to let her know every minute that I love her. She gets cuddles and right now she's incredibly spoiled. More spoiled than she has been in her entire life. I think we're all just reassuring ourselves--she's happy, she's loved, she's not in any pain, and most of all, she's still our happy dog. And knowing that will give us all something to be grateful for in times to come.

From: [identity profile]

I am so sorry I missed this post when you originally wrote it. Losing anyone is hard, but family particularly. And it sounds like Ginger is a well-loved family member indeed.

From: [identity profile]

Thank you so much. She is definitely a member of the family. I think part of this post was just the shock of finally having to accept that she's not going to live forever, but hopefully she will be around for quite some time to come. I think she will. She had a bad month, and now it seems like she's really perking up. She's been incredibly hyper all week!


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