As might be expected, it's caused me to think about my own mortality, the people closest to me, and, of course, my two canine companions, Daisy and Sara. It's impossible to ignore the whitish-gray that has crept over their black muzzles, how they stiffly climb the stairs to our home at day's end, that they seem content for a long walk around the park instead of champing at the bit to run freely and muscularly, as they did years earlier.
I’m not sure what I'll do when the time comes that I must say goodbye to them. I think about it often. I try to convince myself that I'll be strong and noble and let them pass away quietly and comfortably in our home so that they leave this earth with a final feeling of the immense love I had for them. But I don’t know if that will be the right way. Perhaps it is more humane and loving to end any suffering they might have under the careful supervision of their long-time vet. Yet that seems the cowardly way out. I believe I owe it to Daisy and Sara to let them live to the final breaths that God intended for them, and not short-circuit that because I can’t handle seeing them in pain or discomfort, or watching their bodies break down.
And, in many ways, they are better companions now than when they were younger. Perhaps that's because I have slowed down, too. I have become gray in my hair, and my beard when I'm unshaven. I'm active but don't have excess energy to burn like I did even ten years ago. So, it seems, the three of us are at a point in time when our bodies’ ages are similar. I like long weekend naps, and they do too. I like to lie on my bed and watch TV to relax. They like to lie on my bed and snuggle against me.
They are nowhere near death so I shouldn’t be thinking about it so much.
And yet I do.