I’ve always been a dog person. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a husband, a bunch of dogs and maybe some kids. Dogs were always the priority. Well, now, at almost thirty years of age and a new mother of one, I have rightfully changed my priorities. I just have to say that I’m shocked as to how much they’ve changed.
Before Luca came, I was so in love with our pups. We have two boxers, Abby and Leroy. Don’t get me wrong, I still care for them very much but I just can’t give them the attention that I once could. While boxers are very sweet dogs, they are also very energetic. Once I was caring for a newborn, their puppy-like energy wasn’t quite as endearing as it had been before. Honestly, it is downright pulling-out-my-hair frustrating sometimes. There have been many occasions when I have seriously entertained thoughts of adopting them out.
Well, last night, we discovered that Abby will not be with us much longer. She has an inoperable tumor in her nasal passage and it’s beginning to cause her stress and pain. The myriad of intense emotions that I’m experiencing are overwhelming. Sadness, anger, helplessness, fear, pain, dare I mention… relief?, and guilt… mostly a lot of guilt. The guilt isn’t her fault… it’s just that every time I see the dogs, I am reminded of another area where I feel like I’m not measuring-up. We’ve only had Abby for about a year and it pains me to admit that I could have been a better Mama to her. During my pregnancy and especially after Luca’s birth, I just didn’t have the energy that she needed me to have. Now, reflecting on how parenthood has changed me, I wonder if we even should have adopted her.
Yet, among all the painful feelings, there is a feeling of… I don’t know how to describe it… hope maybe? I have hope that we have given her the best last year of her life. I hope that she felt loved. I hope that God would be proud of how we cared for this delightful little creation. I also hope that He will care for her when we can’t because she is no longer with us. Abby came to us with issues stemming from maltreatment and neglect. I choose to believe that she will be going to a place where she will no longer feel the remnants of her former life.
Abby’s current situation has forced me to reflect on how I am with our dogs. I may not be able to give them as much exercise or play time but I still give them love. My attitude towards has changed from annoyed to accepting. It may not be ideal, but we have two dogs that have been put in our care. I can’t change that. All I can do is give them what I can, and when there’s nothing to give, at least I can display a loving attitude towards them. They have been loving and faithful to us despite all the changes that we have gone through and truly, they have brought much joy to our home.
Maybe I don’t need to feel guilty, I’ve loved them the best that I can and maybe that’s good enough. For Abby’s sake, I really hope so.
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