The holidays are a time when we reflect on the joyous things in life. As a pet parent, I’m sure one of those things is definitely your beloved furbaby. It’s amazing how much joy our little balls of fur bring us, and for that, I am truly grateful!
The holiday season is also a time when we remember those we miss. I’d do anything to have my fur babies who have passed back–even just for one holiday season.
Of course, there’s nothing I can do to bring back my pets who have passed away, but I do make it a point during this time of year to take some time to give thanks for all the blessings in life I’ve received, and all the animals that have been a part of my life.
Of all the pets I’ve lived with over the years, the one that was the dog of my life was Arnold. He was an English Setter/ Brittany Spaniel mix and was just as devious as he was beautiful and loving.
I was incredibly blessed that Arnold got to live a full and long life.
He reached the advanced age of 17 but, unfortunately, had crippling arthritis, and lost his balance often when standing up.
True to his funny and quirky character, he would fall over due to arthritis, look around and get up, as if to say, “Doesn’t bother me!”
In his younger days, Arnold adored being called my handsome man. I didn’t realize as he had gotten older that I didn’t call him that as frequently as I should have.
Eventually, a person I know that is skilled in animal communication asked why I didn’t call Arnold this anymore. It broke my heart that I had let my friend and companion down, and failed to continue to see how handsome he was.
I didn’t realize how grateful Arnold was for those words, something so simple and easy to tell him every day.
Eventually, Arnold got to the point where his mind was willing, but his body was weak. His muscles had shriveled up, and his gait was odd because it appeared that he was slinging his limbs with rubber bands to propel himself forward.
He loved to eat, but only if he had his own buffet laid out.
He was disappearing before my eyes.
Worst of all, the pain medicine was not working anymore.
We took Arnold to the beach, where he spent the first few years of his life with me, presumably for his last hurrah. The plan was to let him do whatever he wanted for the weekend, and then put him to sleep on Sunday night.
What happened at the beach was nothing short of amazing.
Arnold had to be carried onto the beach, and while he seemed to be enjoying the air, he was not very engaged. He picked up his head to watch a kite boarder go by. He was fascinated, he wanted to get up and go see what that thing was, and so he did.
We walked several blocks until the kiteboarder was far off in the distance. By the end of our day, he was happy, engaged, and his old loving self.
We made it our morning ritual to walk out on the dock and enjoy the still morning air. It refreshed him, and frankly, it made me feel a lot better, too. He did well for 2 more months, and then as if he fell off a cliff, he was ready to go.
My animal communicator friend said that Arnold had to make sure I was ready for him to go. As much as I loved him, I could not help him anymore, and he was suffering.
So, on Labor Day morning, Arnold’s long life’s work came to an end. He went quietly on our porch overlooking the marsh, happy that he had done what he had been born to do– love me and everyone else around him unconditionally.
I will always be so grateful for that love.
Why am I telling you this story? Because this experience had me digging deep to find anything else I could have done to make his life better.
Arnold spurred me on to start taking acupuncture classes, and more important to take the time to care for myself, and stay connected with the natural world.
While I regret I did not have the knowledge then, without Arnold’s need for more help, I wouldn’t have gotten that kickstart.
Arnold gave me the best gift in the world, the gift to help pet owners just like you give your pets the best life possible through quality care and diets, like the Original CrockPET Diet.
We never know when our beloved companion’s time on earth will be up. That’s why it’s our job to be grateful for each and every day we have with him.
I’d love to hear why you’re grateful for your cat or dog.
I encourage you to post your pet’s story with a picture on my Facebook page so I can meet all of your beautiful furbabies and read your stories.
I can’t wait to read through your posts!