Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The Old Pupster
Here's my boy, Pup, looking a little rough around the edges - he seems to be molting, like a budgie, brown tufts loosening from within his wolfish black coat, snout white with old age, eyes dimmed, but still looking faithfully at me.
Some of you asked why this will be his last Christmas. He is fourteen now, an advanced age for a large dog of his breed. For years his legs have been collapsing, and in the last several months his hind end has been giving out, causing him to collapse to the floor just crossing a room. He is partly blind and deaf now. His front leg is very lame and has been for years, he has been riddled with arthritis most of his life and truly, it is a wonder he is still padding faithfully, though limping badly, along beside me.
This dog has been so much more than a dog to me. He was a rescue, found nearly dead and abandoned in the woods. He came back to life with a bang, and gamboled joyously beside me through his puppyhood along all the sandy beaches and forest trails of Tofino. He shares my wild wilderness heart, lived with me the best years of my life - in Tofino - and some of the hardest years - since I was forced to leave there by illness and finances - since. His spirit finds itself fettered, as does mine, away from the wilderness we love. But he traded it to be with me, and I know he would not have chosen differently.
He has been the companion of my heart I waited my whole life for. Turns out the love of my life was a dog - and so much more than a dog. He is part wolf, highly intelligent, funny, vocal, very Alpha, and totally attuned to me. He has given me the unconditional loyal unswerving devotion humans seem to have such a hard time giving.
I have been trying to prepare myself as much as one can for his passing. It has brought me to tears every time I thought of it for years, and does now. But the other side of that coin is, I dont want to wait so long that he will suffer a distressing death. I owe him better than that.
The vet gave me some medicine for him to get him through Christmas, and in the new year we will consult again. I just know the time is short. I know he knows it too. I need to view it as setting his spirit, now housed in a faltering painful body, free, so he can run the wild beaches in his dreams once more.
Loving a dog always ends in the pain of having to let them go. I wont ever say goodbye to Pup. He will stay with me in my heart forever. He will never be replaced.