Four years ago, the inevitable happened. My children asked for a dog after spending the summer surrounded by boxers and golden retrievers in our hometown, Gaspe Quebec.
I, for one, disliked animals and had no desire to have an animal of my own. Dogs to me were crotch sniffing nuisances. However, being always the mother, I cowered to their request with conditions:
I did not want to do one simple chore for this future animal who would join our family. I researched different dogs while my kid’s read about the dogs for sale in the paper. I resided to a Cocker Spaniel as they were not too big and not too small.
On July 29th, we went to see the 8 week old Cocker Spaniel Puppies in Elmira. The children were in AWE as they scooped up one puppy after another. The breeder gave me a puppy too (not knowing my extreme dislike for four-legged creatures). Alas, the children started arguing that they wanted the puppy in their arms and I hushed them up by proclaiming that the one in my arms is the one were getting.
I was pretty nervous around this animal despite it taking a keen liking to me. Displaying my true nature, I was worried if it was happy, fed, and taken care of. I really didn’t like it when she licked me or laid on me though.
On the long weekend of September, we took our annual Bingeman’s camping Vacation. We, no make that I, took Maddie with us. Unknowingly, she developed a fear for driving and tried to get on me as I drove the car. Every time, she’d come to me, I’d push her back into the passenger seat. Just when we arrived to Bingemans, she threw up all over the front seat! EWWW….and it was only myself who could clean it up.
I think this is where our friendship began.
The next day camping, I wasn’t feeling well and Maddie hadn’t slept all night. I thought it was a good idea to take her home, bath her, and get better. So I did and the same thing happened on the car ride home. Upon arriving home, we skipped the bath and Maddie crashed right on top of me. It was then we became mother and dog.
Another thing about Cocker Spaniel’s that I quickly learned is that when they get excited, they pee. No they don’t sprinkle or dribble, they pee everywhere. Despite my utter disgust when people would come into my house, the guest seemed to come to expect her wet greeting and her invite to rub her belly immediately. I think maybe two people disliked Maddie.
For the past four years, she has been my pleasant greeter, my paw holder when I’m down, and my warmer for my lap each and every night. She’s a glutton who never allows me to enjoy my single piece of peanut butter and toast for breakfast. I always have to share.
Today, I was informed that her sickness that kept getting better and then worse over the summer MAY be kidney failure. Let me tell you, my heart stopped. You mean this four-year old dog may not make it? Aren’t dogs supposed to survive for at least in the double digits?
Congestive Kidney Failure can take any dog at any age.
As I sit here in complete darkness near her cage, I pray that it’s a simple kidney infection which two doses of antibiotics didn’t cure. i also pray that if it is kidney failure I hope that God takes her tonight rather than having to hear the inevitable, and we have to make that choice to put her down. I’m sorry but I just can’t do it.
My stone cold heart of animals has melted. They are breathing creatures who are intuitive of our moods, who cheers us up when we are down, and are intuitive protectors of their keep.
If you want to learn compassion and undying love, I’d highly recommend a dog because they simply love you for who you are!!