Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saying Goodbye To A Best Friend
I've written before about how crucial I believe animals are to our emotional well-being, especially those of us coping with chronic illness. They have ways of sensing our pain like many people never could. They have the ability to empathize with us in profound and surprising ways. Suffering doesn't feel so much like suffering when they're beside us.
In this March post, I first introduced my two wonderful pups - Riley and Lily. If you've spent any time with me, you know I can't go very long without mentioning something about them; you know they're on my mind and my heart constantly. It's hard to explain just what they mean to me, but they're my family... and I think that says it all.
Our gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, Riley, was diagnosed with Canine Lymphoma in 2007 - a form of cancer that is all too common in this breed. Although I was starting my senior year of college and couldn't be home during that time, my mom took him for regular chemo treatments (he was such a good patient that he even offered his paw to get the IV!). With fantastic medical care and the love of our family, Riley beat cancer and still managed to remain the goofy, amazing, and affectionate dog he always was. To this day, our vet calls him her "poster boy." In our hearts, we knew that every day we had with him was a gift, but it was easy to forget about the possibility of his cancer ever returning.
Although the void is tremendous and I'm missing my Riley every minute, I need to focus on what a gift he was. I am so much better for having loved him.
Ps: My blogging will become more regular soon - I'm working hard to get everything back on track...