Sunday, April 23, 2006

Old Friends

Just about everyday my wife and I get our dogs out for a walk at a nearby nature preserve. We do it for ourselves as much as we do it for them. It's a moderate walk, about 3 miles, taking us up and down hills on the various paths. Once we get out there, the dogs are so excited that they strain against their leashes. All except one, the golden retriever, Mia.

Mia, like all of our other animals, is a dog that we rescued. Someone had used her for many years to breed so they could sell the puppies (or so we speculate). When she got too old and had developed numerous, hard, and large breast tumors, she was dumped off in an area that she was not familiar with on a road. This was in the heat of mid summer and she smelled horrible. She had been forced to go down into drainage ditches to find any water to drink.

We never knew how old she really was, the vet estimated around nine. She seemed healthy and happy and she had a good appetite. If she had gone to the Humane Society, she would have been put down because she was so unadoptable. She is one of the sweetest and gentle dogs that we have ever had and we wanted to make sure that she spent whatever time was left to her in a place where she was loved.

Now, she is noticably slowing down. When we were out yesterday morning, my wife had to take her back to the van shortly after we started our trek. She was already lagging behind and she was panting. At home, she spends most of her time sleeping and doesn't seek attention or affection as much anymore. We have seen this in the past in our other animals. We know that now her time is really limited. We have a small pet cemetary on our property. She will be buried with her friends. So, we will just enjoy her company as much as we can for as long as we can.

As bittersweet as this is, we know that we will rescue another animal that was probably unwanted. We will keep doing this as long as we can. And when we die, my wife and I figure that we will be greeted by a large and varied pack because, there are dogs in our heaven.


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