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I have a friend who routinely mentions how she has an agreement with her dog that the dog will live to be at least 20 years old. She doesn’t understand how I could have a preference for bigger dogs which typically have a shortened life span. I told her we never know what’s going to happen in life. One minute everything’s fine, the next minute, not. Daily there’s news of accidents and tragic events that take the lives of young people. In life, there’s no guarantee.
Then, I reminded my friend about me and my husband – and what was a large age difference. When we got together over 25 years ago, we decided then and there to make the most of every day, because of our age difference, we didn’t know how much time we would have together. We figured if we had 5 years that would be great – we would take it and enjoy it. I was very lucky to have 25 years with him before he passed away in June 2013. Even through his illness, I still treasured the time we had together and so did he.
It’s the same with my dogs. A dog comes into our life as either a cute puppy or an adult, possibly a rescue. From the size or breed we have an idea of how long our dog should theoretically live. But that means nothing. Anything can happen. From getting hit by a car to cancer, the beloved dog we fully expect to have in our lives for 18 years may die at five.
I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it’s my belief that we should treasure the time we have with our dogs (and all our loved ones for that fact) because we just don’t know how long we’ll have. Too often for example, we come home from work stressed and we don’t give our dogs the attention they crave after spending the day without us. Or we get busy with our lives and forget. There are many reasons.
But today, just for a moment, remember why you brought that special doggie soul into your life. Give them the attention they deserve. Take time to play, go for a walk, or watch a movie with your dog lying beside you on the couch. You get the idea – spend quality time with your dog. I think you’ll also find you become less stressed when you do.