For the love of a dog

15 years ago my parents brought home a beautiful, wiggly happy puppy. Left to die in a forest, a kind hiker picked her up and took her to Safeway — a stop to get lunch on the way to the Humane Society. Small and helpless, my parents brought Sandy home for my brother’s birthday. She was weak, and scared. She cried for her mother. My brother, our friends and I took care of Sandy that day. She grew up to be the best dog ever.

However, Sandy had a hip problem. It was very bad. Sometimes she couldn’t walk. Sandy has hip dysplasia. She’s had it for more than half her life. Some days are good, others are worse. Sandy struggles through, periodically we have to carry her, but most days she does things on her own. We do whatever we can to make her comfortable.

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Sandy has a mother dog instinct. She will protect the weak and comfort those who need it. Even when she’s in pain, Sandy will sit herself next to HB and protect her. HB loves Sandy. Sandy loves HB.

My heart broke yesterday when Sandy couldn’t stand. At. All. She couldn’t even pee without falling. My husband took her to the pet hospital. We found out she had extreme vertigo, but will be able to walk again. Good news, but a reminder that Sandy is very old. She will not be in our lives forever. A reminder that we have to take care of her and cherish the moments we have left.

For those of you with senior pets, give them extra cuddles tonight and every night. I know I will. I have to. The moments I have with Sandy are more precious than gold.

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