I had an amazing 2-day conference at the Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center near Asheville, part of which was preparation for the My Hope event later this year. More on the conference and time in a most tranquil place later. On my way home my cell phone rang. I did not recognize the number but the area code was local so I answered. It was my vet. My vocal cords refused to respond. My dogs are boarding there and hearing from the vet while you are away, not to mention on a Sunday morning, is never a good thing. The first thing he said was it was not an emergency, so I stopped holding my breath. My little special needs baby, Murphy, is 12. He has been having gall bladder issues, phosphorous/protein/kidney issues, dental issues… anyway, his bloodwork to prep him for a dental cleaning came back and it was not good. He had gotten some better recently but it’s taken a turn. Anyway, we will be changing his meds and hope it extends his quality of life.

We know when we adopt these precious ones the likely outcome– our lives outlive theirs. Very few but some pets make it to 15 or even beyond, but those unlucky ones who do not often are afflicted with something untoward. A cancer, or a kidney disease, spine issues, liver or heart problems. They are no different in this way from us humans. Things happen to them. The responsibility we assume when we adopt adorable little puff balls is staggering but we do not know just how much so at that time. This tiny, wriggling bit of fluff so happy with us? What could possibly happen to so much love, so much life?? A lot can happen. No matter how carefully we tend their little diets, vaccination and medical needs things happen. Even though we know nothing lasts forever we are never prepared when the “Time” comes. We age with them, we know every aspect of their health care and yet we are not nature’s miracle. We cannot give them more life. Some medicines might, or stepped-up care, but face it, They will simply not stay with us forever. So I am trying hard not to think about the end, more I am going backwards, remembering Murphy’s puppyhood, his little joys, chasing after bouncy balls, his attentive prancing dance when he greets me at the door.

And I try hard not to cry.