He has been part of the family for 13 years. When we got him, he was so tiny that he could fit right in the palm of your hand – he was just 2 weeks old. We were living in Mexico City at the time, and my sister demanded her own dog. He could barely walk, and had no teeth-which meant that he couldn’t chew. For 3 weeks we fed him baby food.
He would sleep in bed with my sister on most nights. Since he was so small, he would wander over to the end of the bed in the middle of the night and do his business, then he’d waddle back up to the pillow and go back to sleep. My sister would often wake up with little bits of dog poop on the end of the bed. I thought it was hilarious, my mother was disgusted. And then the dog started sleeping in my mother’s room. I still thought it was hilarious when he took to peeing at the end of her bed, and my mother suddenly started tolerating his filthy little habits. After all, he was just a tiny puppy. In the mornings, he had this habit of attacking whomever he was sleeping with. He fancied himself a vampire and would latch onto your neck and try to rip it out. Bugger had sharp little teeth too, but as he weighed no more than 4 pounds, he didn’t do much damage.
When he was scared or cold, he would lay underneath the stove in the kitchen. The years passed and he grew to surpass 90 pounds. He has always been playful and very energetic. He loved running in the woods, playing with my brother-in-law, and begging for table scraps. That is, up until about 2 weeks ago. Suddenly, he just didn’t seem like himself anymore. The vet visits started as they tried to determine what was wrong with him.
This afternoon my sister was given the news that he is very sick. Most likely, it’s Cancer. For a dog that age, surgery isn’t really the best option. You have to consider if you’re putting him under because it’s what’s right for him, or because you don’t want to live without them. My sister knows better. The doctors don’t know how long it will be, but it’s only a matter of time now. For now, he’ll just be made comfortable and we’ll hope that he still enjoys the things that he’s always loved.
Once things change, we’ll have to let him go.
Those of you that are pet owners know how much a part of your family a pet is. They are the ones that are always happy to greet you when you come home. That will snuggle with you when you are cold. That will always love you no matter what you’ve done. And when a time like this comes, when you know that soon they won’t be around to nudge you with their paws or brush up against you, it is heartbreaking.
I will always have fond memories of him. Always. And though he is not my dog, I have always loved him. And I always will.