Lessons our Dogs Teach us and a Book Giveaway
The tell tale signs were all there: The coughing, heaving, wheezing.
I tried to ignore them. After having pets all of my life, I knew deep down that it wasn’t allergies or a cold.
Last week, our (approximately) 8-year-old red Dachshund, Molly, was diagnosed with an enlarged heart.
It was hard not getting upset at this piece of news, knowing there is no cure for pet heart patients.
Three weeks ago, Molly was running around the deck with her kibble ball (a ball that dispenses bits of food when it is pushed just right) and last week, she could barely make it to The Belle Writer’s Studio with me without going into a coughing fit and wheezing for 5 minutes.
Our vet said it’s not an uncommon problem and one that does happen very suddenly. The best we can do is make her comfortable with medications until the quality of her life reaches the point that allows us to give her a way out.
It’s been 15 years now, but our Maltese, Angel, the dog Dale got for me for a high school graduation present, died of congestive heart failure, the result of an enlarged heart. We took care of her for two years before she left us on her own one night.
I remember little of those years, but I do remember the good times. Angel started going everywhere with us and we savored each day with her. She was the only dog I have ever known that seemed to respond to music and she loved to be picked up and dance with me.
It was Angel that really taught me as an adult to appreciate the days we have with our loved ones, be they human or animal, and not wait until we know they are dying to create memories.
So while we were sad over the news we got about Molly last week, we know too, that she has also had a wonderful life since coming to live with us. We’ve taken every opportunity we can for those walks and playtime (I learned from LL community member, Roxanne Hawn’s blog, Champion of my Heart, last year that those strange noises Molly makes while playing is actually doggy laughter).
We’ve been extra patient with her never-ending kissies (she was of course, a rescue and handed to me by her former owner, who scrunched up her nose and said, “We don’t like dogs that lick!”) and the Sunday mornings she’s barked at us and bitten our hair, demanding we get out of bed and feed her.
There are no regrets about how we spent our time with her until now and of course, we will continue to dote on her as long as we can.
I wonder how many people can say that about the people in their lives, much less their pets?
Have you cared for ill pets? What did the experience teach you?
Now, for another book giveaway, and yes, it is a book that includes a dog! The book is “A Pug’s Tale,” by Alison Pace, a novel about how a pet pug helps solve an art theft mystery. I haven’t read the book as of yet, but the publisher sent me two copies, one of which I will give to a Living Large community member next week. This giveaway is open to all Living Large readers, no matter your location.
Here’s how to enter:
1). Comment on this blog post between now and Monday, July 18 at 3 p.m. CST. Also, tell me if you did the other things for additional entry chances.
Please, please, leave your email address in your comment or a viable link where I can message you to notify you if you win. Or, make sure to check back on the blog on Tuesday, July 19 to see if you’ve won.
For three additional chances to win:
2). Click on this link, which will take you to the Pettie Award voting site. My other blog, K9 Chronicles Rescue Me, has made the finals for an award in the Best Cause Related Blog category. I’m begging for your votes, not for me, but for the $1,000 that will be donated to my favorite rescue should we win. I will donate the money to Half-Way Home Rescue in Collins, Mo., where we adopted Chloe and Abbi.
If you would really like to help out, you can vote up to 2-3 times per day through July 29.
Also, while there, please put in an extra click for Champion of my Heart under the Best Dog Blog category.
3). Tweet this exact tweet on Twitter: RT @fivecoat Comment before July 18 and enter to win in a dog mystery book giveaway! http://su.pr/2yEDIg
4). Go to our Facebook page and hit “like,” or if you already “like” Living Large, invite your friends and family to join Living Large by telling us about them in a status update. Example post: There’s something for everyone at Living Large, gardening, sustainability, living simpler and happier life. Check it out and “like” them! (remember to link to the page by typing @livinglarge when you’re typing the status, so your friends can click on the link and go right to our Living Large page!)
You have up to 4 chances to win, good luck!