The Time is Drawing Near

For those of you that have pets that you adore, you know how hard it can be to see your pet getting older and older. That is exactly the case with my sweet Zoe girl. She isn't just getting old, she is old.

I can see the days counting down. I know instead of dreading the ending I should be loving the final chapter. It is funny how you wish for something and when that wish comes true you get greedy and want just one more wish.

Last year we were all let's just get her through winter and enjoy this Christmas because it will probably be her last. Now that this winter is rapidly approaching I am all Noooooo! She can't go just yet. Let's just get through Christmas! because in my head I can't imagine not having her there on Christmas morning.

The thing is, that really isn't the truth either. I can't imagine not having her there on any morning.

Jay and I got Zoe when she was 8 weeks old but since she was one of the puppies my sister's dog had, we knew her from the time she was born and she spent those first 8 weeks at my Mom's surrounded by us. She was our baby before we had a baby. I have never had a better behaved, sweeter dog in my entire life.

It should be no surprise to me that she is slowing down these days. In May she turned 11 and since she is a pure bred large breed dog (a Rottie) everyone, my vet included, is shocked at how well she is doing for her age. Big dogs just don't have the same life-expectancy as little dogs.

She is a different dog in her old age though. She no longer can climb the stairs to sleep in our bedroom like she has her entire life. She suffers from a partial tear in her knee and she is slow to get up and get moving and she requires an almost daily arthritis medication. She is grey around the face and glossy in the eyes.

Then there are the times I see the pup in her. She will hear one of us and perk up and as the boys talk to her, her nubbin gets wiggling and she offers an endless supply of kisses. Still after all this time she is happy to see us each and every time we come home and she is as loyal as she ever was.

Jack & Zoe 

Joey & Zoe playing

She is a part of our family. She is one of us.

I walk downstairs every morning saying a silent prayer that she will be alive when I get down there. I pray that when I flip on the bathroom light I will see her head turn from her bed to see me and hear her snore and sigh as she rolls back over to sleep. I don't know what I would do if I walked down and found her gone from us forever.

I know we are so lucky she has lived this long and every day is like a cherry on top.  She gets extra pets and snuggles now. The boys beg to give her just one more treat and I give in because she is such a good girl and she deserves all the treats in the world. Jason gives into her eyes and sneaks her his pizza crust and other tidbits here and there these days and when I shoot him the we don't feed her people food look he is quick to reply she has been good her whole life. She deserves the pizza crust and anything else she finds on the floor that the boys left behind.

I just know the time is drawing near. I can see it and feel it, but mostly I just hate it. I know it has been said all dogs go to heaven. I can assure you my Zoe girl deserves a place there. I just want more time. If we can just get her through the winter....

Zoe, age 11