My dog is old. I hold my breath for the day she goes downhill. My best friend, Lilly, is comparable to an 80-year-old woman. Her hearing has worsened this past year. She no longer hears when I arrive home, nor when I rattle her leash to signal it's time for a walk. Her mobility is possible because of medications and a special diet.
She will notice I have moved to another room and follow me. I thought this meant she didn't feel well. She didn't use to stick close by my side. I took her to the vet. Discovered following mamma is a good sign! Instead, I need to worry when she hides.
She now makes weird noises, not only snoring. Vet assured me this was part of the cognitive changes with age.
I try not to be a helicopter mom but know my beloved canine rarely complains, even when she is in pain. This knowledge keeps me vigilant to any changes with her. My heart will break when she passes. I've lost other dogs because of aging and sickness, and it hurts. Yet, Lilly is the first who was my best friend. She understands when I'm talking to her. Beyond commands. There is an intuitiveness to when we are walking around the house or the neighborhood. I speak in complete sentences because she understands me. I've seen nothing like it with a dog before. And I seem to be able to understand her expressive eyes and face. It may help that she is not only a Labrador but also a border collie, the smartest breed known.
I'm agnostic, but if there is a Heaven, she will greet me. If humans have spirits, then so do dogs. At least this one does. I've seen it. I will forever be grateful to my best friend and she knows why.
Science recently, finally, confirmed what we already knew. Sometimes the death of a pet can be as devastating as losing a loved one. It amazes me it took scientists to year 2020 to prove this.
Broken heart syndrome is real. Respect your neighbor's grief when he loses his beloved cat. His health may rely on your compassion.