Recently I have been having a lot of "aftershocks", an experience where painful memories, come and gone, emerge from your subconscious and leave you trembling. They come with no rhyme or reason, when you least expect it, only to leave you clinching your heart in hopes of sweet relief from the psychological pain. I hate them, these aftershocks... they haunt me and remind me coldly that nothing remains buried forever within ourselves.
Having pets instead of children is a puzzling occurrence for some. A lot of people do not quite understand the bound that forms between an animal and their people. "How can you say they are like your babies?" "You won't understand until you've had kids", are not uncommon statements to hear when you are a furbaby family. It's simple, you love them... with everything you have to offer. You are there, sometimes, from the very beginning. Their first toy, their first clumsy stumble up the stairs or maybe onto a window ledge, their first joy to their first hurt, you are there with them, they are there with you.
Lately, my sweet Gage has been feeling less and less like himself. Being a rottie he has always had issues with his joints and maneuvering them beneath his own mass, but this is different. He has a hard time walking and getting around without assistance from us. He stumbles, he falls, and my heart breaks. The vet says his insides are good but his bones are so bad and all we can do is make him comfortable for what he has left with us. That he has had a good long life for his breed.
He is going to be 11 years old this October and we have all been a family from the beginning. Since CR and I's very first Christmas, two months after we met, there has been Gage. He has been there through so many trails, tragedies, and losses and through them he has comforted me, loved me, and helped me move forward. He has been my baby, my sweet boy, my protector for all these years. I feel am being reminded that they are not with us forever and it terrifies me to think who will be there to console me when it's him I lose?
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