In my family, our animals have always been an integral part to the family. They were never cast to the basement or to the backyard to never get love and attention. The dogs came on family road trips, to the Philippine Islands when my father was transferred, and practically had a spot at the dinner table. That tradition continues to this day, except the horses have their own feed buckets and I don’t foresee any overseas travel in our future. The dogs have the run of the house and they know it.
So it is painstakingly hard to see them age. Can you see where this is headed? My dearest hound dog Holly was 15 years old and my heart breaks that I had to say goodbye to her this morning. This past week has been challenging and the days to come will be even more so since I will not see her smiling doggie face when I come home. You agonize and cry and smile through the tears at the happy memories. My mind has been so distracted that I have only ridden once since my lesson earlier in the week. It would be a disservice to Ike; I learned that lesson years ago that ended with a black eye from my face connecting with Cigar’s neck. There are some days that it is best just to groom and pass out treats and share my thoughts with my equine family members. Cigar’s nickers brought a smile to my face. Ike is the silent type, but seeing his face peek at me through his window warmed my heart. I like to think they sense the pain and would hug me if they could.
I know that time will make the hurt lessen, but for today, my heart grieves and my tears flow freely.