I could say my life has gone to the dogs, but let's face it... it's been that way for almost 17 great years.
My blog started out as Gracie Owns Me, then several years ago I changed it to Growing Old with Gracie and now - well, if I were to rename it now it would probably be Losing Gracie.
My heart breaks to see her lost in our yard, under a chair, or in a corner. She tends to pull to the left, the same side as her head-tilt, causing her to run into walls and miss doorway entrances.
I've piled soft rugs and blankets on even the smallest step landing, to make her walk from the house to outside easier. Sometimes she'll fall, but it's a soft landing now.
We'll put her in the car and take her to the towpath for mini-walks until she looks worn out. She loves her walks, still. Even if they are only half of what they used to be. When I heard of the hurricane rains coming our way, I hurriedly purchased a doggie umbrella from Amazon. It came that morning, just in time.
She used to love to go out front and bark at passersby. Now when I tie her there, she looks bewildered. Like, where am I and what am I doing here?
Our entire house is Old-Girl-Gracie-ized. We have ramps and rugs, pillows, and barriers. Every time I see a problem, I try to fix it to make it easier on her. I love when I catch her in a sweet sleep. I know then, she is not worried or suffering or in pain. I love when she climbs the ramp at night to join us on the bed, and when she settles there. Her going down the ramp gives me worry - as she bounces to the left and onto the sides of the ramp, finally making it to the floor.
She doesn't do well in the car for long drives. We took her to camp one last time, then we sold the camper and discontinued our contract with the campsite. When it was time to leave, she refused.
No. I'm not going. I will not go. I love camp. You can't make me.
When she is gone, I cannot imagine being there without her. She has loved it so much! It would be too painful.
I've been talking to her a lot. About how she will probably be leaving us soon, I tell her we'll be okay. But she will be better than okay. And that she should watch for us one day to be with her. Do I think dogs go to heaven? Absolutely. I found this on daily scriptures on the Internet:
And because I love God, I know He will one day bring me and my girl back together again.
He will bring all of us back together again, all of us who love Him.
In the meantime, I will take the best care of my girl that I can. And I will watch closely for her to tell me when she's had enough of this life.
Shhhh... I'm trying to catch a nap, can ya keep it down?