Aging Dog…Day 30

When I met my husband 7 years ago, he had a pitbull named Junior. Junior was large, strong, very intimidating, playful, loved swimming, and was a huge teddy bear. I never had any problems with him being aggressive to me ever. I came into the marriage with a miniature dachshund, Lilly, and she rules over Junior. Junior has never done anything to ever hurt little Lilly. Lilly has even attacked him many of times over a toy or a bone but Junior ALWAYS lays down submissively to Lilly.

Fast forward to today, you would not see the 80 something pound dog you once saw before. Junior has aged over the years, as we all do. But dogs have a shorter life span and with the shorter life span, I get to watch Junior go down hill. Over the past couple years Junior has lost interest in eating and all the other things he use to do. He has gone from being the dog that wanted to snatch the ball and make you wrestle it from him to being a dog that can barely stand. There are days that I call him Bambi because he can barely keep his legs beneath him like a newborn with wobbly long legs. I call him Bambi so that I don’t feel the heartbreak.

Junior now weighs half as much as he use to and makes me look like I am a bad owner. I have gone through so many different ways to get him to gain weight but he can only eat so much in a day. Once I fed him so much that he vomited…so counter productive. I have tried Junior on soft dog food, I have changed his food to a higher quality food with a premium price, and I even feed him extra snacks. None of this has helped him to gain weight. My mother-in-law saw  him and instantly started feeding him as if I were not already trying to get him to eat more. Initially it hurt my feelings because I thought she believed that I was neglecting him. But she has learned that Junior actually eats more than I do and still looks very thin.

I have read so many vet discussions, articles, tips, and blogs about skinny dogs, causes and helping them put on weight. But today I read something else…aging dogs tend to lose their appetite when they get closer to dying and as long as he is getting up to socialize and eat occasionally, I should be happy that he is still doing well. But it has not stopped me from still feeding him several small meals throughout the day. Today he got up to greet me and wagged his tail really well…he hasn’t had the energy to do that for some time. It was encouraging and made me smile, praise and love him more!

But I also have to face reality. My mother-in-law reminded me that with Junior being about 18 years old, he has already outlived many dogs of his kind. So here is my thought…I will be there and get him to eat until he is ready to lay down the last time. I will love Junior and make him as happy and comfortable as I possibly can because that is how I would want to be treated. I want to be surrounded by those that I love and be happy when my days come to an end. As for Junior, he too will be loved until he lays down to rest…in due time.

Divorce…Day 27

Divorce…It was an action I swore I would never let happen. Marriage met till death due us part. My father was married 4 times! I asked about why  he married so many times and he told me that his wives left him or they were crazy…literally. His fourth wife was different because they didn’t have any children together. In fact, I think I was a big part of the reason why they divorced. He wasn’t happy anyways and maybe I just helped him make the decision to divorce. Regardless, my father never married again. He told me that I was the only female he needed in his life anymore. And I did take care of him for a long time…until he decided it was time to move back to Michigan and spend some time there with his other children. I knew what that meant…but maybe that is a story for some other time.

So my father had advice to give me on marriage. He didn’t give me advice on what to do but more of what NOT to do.
Never go to bed angry.
One would think that such simple words would be easy to live by but they are not.

I was married for 20 years before I succumbed to divorce and I am now on my second marriage for 4 years, together for 6 years. There are times that I fear that my current marriage will fail too and then I fixate on why I feel this way. I often come to conclusion that I do not follow my father’s rule…Never go to bed angry.

How do you never go to bed angry when at some point one stops talking just so the arguing will stop? And if you wake angry the next morning, are you wrong for bringing it back up or do you let it go truly resulting in it being bottled up and becoming a quick fuse?

I then turn to the Bible and verses.

EPHESIANS 4:26
(I will give a few different interpretations.)
KJ- “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath,”
CJB- “Be angry, but don’t sin — don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger;”
Ok, so I get where my father told me to ‘Never to go to bed angry’.
I have yet to master.

Mark 10:12 – “And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”
Luke 16:18 – “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
Matthew 5:31-32 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Well, now I am confused. If the marriage is not faithful, is it okay for a divorce then? Am I and my current husband (on his 3rd marriage) living in sin? Does that make the marriage wrong? Or does it make it doomed to fail? I am left with more questions than what I started with and I never seem to find the answer.

So, the lesson today? Before you ever get married, be sure that person is the one that you can foresee being with you until you are both old. Before you get married be sure that is your best friend that will be a true partner and hold you up when you are down. Before you get married, remember you never want to get a divorce and the person is someone you will always find a ‘I love you’ for even when you are mad. But most of all, be sure before you get married that you both agree to “Never go to bed angry”. As for me…I’m still working on it and maybe one day I will master it…in due time.