Thursday, December 27, 2007

Old memories lead to new ones

It was a year ago today, that we had Munchkin put to sleep. It seems as though so much time has passed, but the memories of those last days are still fresh. The pain can resurface when I least expect it. Choosing to put your dog to sleep can be the best gift you ever give to a pet, especially when they are suffering from chronic pain. Doing so, however, toys with your emotions. How can we ever know it was the right time? For a long time, my heart doubted my decision, even though my brain told me it was the right thing to do.

Every Christmas, Munchkin would plop himself down in my mom's kitchen, right in front of the oven. He could smell the beef cooking, and knew "the food lady" would soon be sneaking him meat and filling up his bowl with beef and buttered toast. That was Munchkin's last meal.

This year, my shy Misty, took Munchkin's spot in the kitchen. You can see where dogs' true loyalties lie - in their bellies.

Munchkin watching the "food lady"

Munchkin would always sleep on my pillow, or curled up next to me under the covers. Recently, Oreo has taken over that spot at night. Oreo curls himself up in a ball, snuggles up, and lets out a big sigh. Heaven.

During the last few weeks of Munchkin's life, he had difficulty walking on our vinyl and wood floors. He was in too much pain to hold his legs up on the slippery surfaces. He would fall and then couldn't get up. Jeff went out and bought lots of carpet runners, so Munchkin wouldn't fall so much. Now, I will be using those runners to help Oreo get better traction while using our indoor agility course. Oreo is learning so quickly, and I feel like our bond has grown so much since we started agility just a few days ago.

I hope someday my bond with Oreo will be as strong as the one I had with Munchkin. Munchkin was so in tune with my emotions. He watched and studied me. There was so much trust between us. He always knew when I was coming home, even if I had been gone for a few days. I gave Munchkin the best life that I could, and he enriched my life in so many ways. Munchkin was great with kids, the elderly, and everyone in between. Munchkin would sit at my Babci's feet while she crocheted, and Babci would sneak him crackers. Munchkin let kids grab his ears and yank on his fur. Munchkin made me the crazy "dog person" that I am. He was the best.

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