In a previous blog, entitled, “Daisy’s Story,” I wrote about my Yellow Labrador Retriever and her difficult life before she came to live with us. She has been with us for nine years now and since we think she was two when she came to live with us, we suspect that she is about eleven now. On Saturday, we decided to take a walk with some visiting relatives to both the beach and the town. Daisy used to walk with me on long walks about town, but lately, her walks have been limited to going to the beach and back. So while I was a little worried about taking her on this walk, her excitement at possibly being included persuaded me to let her come.
Well, we walked down to the beach and she happily wagged her tail and enjoyed when people admired her beauty. But on the way back, at the crossroad, she tried to lead us back toward the house. She hesitated when we told her to keep going toward town, but she bravely walked on. I knew we were going to cut through her favorite park and thought that might reignite her usual enthusiasm. But when we got to the park, she laid down and refused to go any further. My husband told me to walk with our guests to the town and that he and Daisy would meet us there in a little bit. As I saw her watch me walk away, I realized that no amount of love can stop her from getting old. Her eyes didn’t leave me as the distance between us widened and I felt like I was abandoning her.
We got to the town and stopped to get some ices. When I looked outside, I saw that Daisy had finally made it. The shop worker was nice enough to give me a bowl of water for her. We sat outside the store and I pet her as she breathed heavily and drank from the bowl. The walk back home must have been excruciating for her. Her hind legs just couldn’t keep up with her front legs. Occasionally, her hind legs seemed to be on the verge of collapsing. As we walked up the last block, you could see herself willing her body to keep going. She knew how close she was to home.
Back in the house, she drank some more water and rested. I held her head on my lap and told her I was sorry. The days of her long walks with me are over. There is still some time left for us together, but I just don’t know how I will ever face those days without her. I am grateful to have been lucky enough to be the person she loved best and I will never forget her.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy