We knew when we got this puppy was that we’d have 12 or 15 years with him, more if we were lucky.
We didn’t realize that four years into those 12 or 15 we’d have a little girl who wasn’t party to those plans.
“Oh, Henry, you’re staying with us forever. Even when I’m a grown up you’re going to stay with us.”
I am a person who tends to dwell on things that are going to be difficult about the future, so this is not the first time I have thought about how hard it will be on the kid when the dog leaves our family. If he stays pretty healthy, she’ll be of an age when she’s going to notice and it’s going to hurt.
When my first dog died I was 23. She was 10, very much over-weight and had gotten sick quickly. The vet told us it was going to go downhill fast. My mother had to make the decision to put her down. Next time it will be my dog and my decision.
They’re still getting comfortable with each other, these two. The poor dog has dealt with her sudden mobility, then walking and running, talking and playing with him but not knowing how gentle to be or how exactly to play in a way that makes sense to him. Some days she wants him to sleep in her bed and some days she tells him to go away, some days she puts a skirt on his head and calls him a bride…
Pretty soon I think they’ll be just about inseparable. Companions in between the time when they don’t quite get each other and the time when he’s a chore for her – feeding and walking him. Best friends.
He’s always been a part of her life and she has yet to realize that he won’t always be one.