Ryan & I Text Back And Forth About Hank

Ryan:
I think Hank might be hitting doggy heaven soon. He hangs out in my bedroom most of the time now. I believe that’s a sign… I’m worried about him.

Me:

If Today Were Your Pet’s Last Day

Ryan:
He loves the Rolling Stones, I turned it up and he came out, he had been in there since 6 am. You can’t always get what you want is the song. I’m still concerned, not much of an appetite in the past two days. Anyway, pray for the little guy!!

Me:
For sure!!! I love Hank! That’s so funny. I didn’t know that about The Rolling Stones

Ryan:
Paint it black or you can’t always get what you want. It’s crazy. He never hangs out in my bedroom. He’s been doing it since you guys left. I know he’s not right, I know that dog like the back of my hand.

f Today Were Your Pet’s Last Day

2 Days Later After A Visit To The Vet

Me:
What did the vet say?

Ryan:
I was giving him too much CBD. Haha. He’s all good!

I love a happy ending!

Hank, my brother’s faithful companion for the past 11 years, began suffering from severe arthritis. No longer able to navigate the stairs, my brother gave Hank CBD oil to help relieve his symptoms. It worked great, and with the correct dosage, Hank is doing fine. However, thinking about Hank climbing the golden stairs reminded me of my own furry creatures. I think I’ve missed some doggone opportunities.

Walk Time

Sometimes, it’s just really cold, or rainy, or snowy, and I’m warm and dry. Going outside seems counterintuitive. Why would I do that when I can curl up with my remote and watch Real Housewives scream it out on Bravo?

Grabbing that leash seems so extra.

Playtime

Ugh…It’s like reading the same book over and over again to a three year old.

Another game of tug of war?

I’ve already let you win like five times, and aren’t you tired of trotting back and forth to retrieve the same squeaky toy.

I really need to do the dishes!

Petting Time

I see the large paw approaching.

Bop.

This demand for attention doesn’t escape me.

Bop, Bop, Bop.

I try typing with one hand as I pat the dog with the other. She rolls over exposing her soft belly tattooed with a large white spot. I gently try to remove my hand.

Bop.

I get up and move.

Feeding Time

So you’re not going to use your bowl anymore?

I could’ve bought the cheap metal one but opted for the cute, ceramic one with bones on it.

Fine.

Somewhere along the way you had a traumatic incident with a bowl. I’ll honor your irrational anxiety and pour your nuggets directly onto the mat. By the way, you’re getting fat.

Hmmm… Maybe I should walk you more often. Anyway, no leftovers for you.

Bath Time

Can we just skip it this week?

I know your eyes are crusty and you have a smell emanating from your rear end area. But, the idea of wrestling you into the tub is too much for me right now.

If Today Were Your Pet’s Last Day

What If Today Is Your Last Day…

Walk Time

I take you on a long stroll past your favorite smells. As you stop to sniff your favorite bouquet of aromas, I patiently wait for you to drink in the scents. I’m not annoyed when you mark every single lamppost, fire hydrant, or patch of grass just because you can. I slow down when you tire because I know your short, little legs struggle to keep up. I offer you water as soon as your breathing becomes labored. And, if you get too tired, I will carry you home.

Playtime

I toss a squeaky toy and marvel at your delight in chasing it down. I notice your steady focus and accomplished stride as you drop it at my feet. I chuckle as you bury your snout in the toy basket and emerge with a rope toy. We battle back and forth. You try to dig your paws into the hardwood floor, but instead, you slide toward me as I give the rope a tug. You clamp down harder on the rope, and I let go. You trot off with your prize and a win.

Petting Time

You snuggle up next to me on the couch. I feel your familiar paw bat at me. I put down my computer and scratch your head. You cock it to one side because you love when I scratch behind your ears. You roll over, and with complete trust, expose your belly to me. I stroke your short fur until you fall asleep.

Feeding Time

I give you the premium dog food. The brand that’s supposed to help you live longer and stay healthier. I pay the extra money because if it means having you around for even a week longer, it’s worth it. You gaze at me gratefully as I mix in some human leftovers. I’m excited to offer you dessert tonight. I splurged on a pig’s ear.

Bathing Time

Your tear ducts no longer work, and your eyes require daily drops. You submissively allow me to squeeze the drops into your eyes. I gently wipe around them and clean up the crust that’s built up. It’s uncomfortable, but you don’t pull away. I tenderly set you in the laundry tub. As I turn on the water, you cower in the corner. I give you a reassuring pat as I make sure the water temperature is just right. Once you are doused with water, you shake it off vigorously. I laugh as water droplets attack me from all angles. As I bathe you, I massage your muscles and tell you that you’re a good girl. When we’re done, I dry you quickly with a towel, so you can excitedly bound off. You race and shake all over the house, and I don’t care that you’re still dripping wet.

If Today Were Your Pet’s Last Day

Reflecting

You’re tired now and retreat to your bed. I think about our day together, and then remember this is your last day. I think about your enthusiastic greetings when I come home and your unconditional love and non-judgement of a flawed human being. The way you live in the moment and are grateful for the smallest morsel of attention humbles me. I sadly wonder about my life without you and how lonely I will be without you nestled up next to me thumping me with your little, white paw.

Today, I vow to make every day like the last day.

Suggested Read: Life Is Too Short: Go After The Things That Matter Most