Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Lessons

Thirteen years ago, on my oldest son's sixteenth birthday, a black lab mix puppy named Abbey was born. We brought her into out family and loved her.She quickly became my oldest son's dog.
Abbey had a litter of puppies. We kept a female, named her Milcah. She also a a litter of puppies and we kept a male pup. This puppy was always getting into places that required someone crawling on their belly in a crawl space under the house to rescue.So he was aptly named Trouble.
When Milcah was about three, she was unfortunately hit by a car and died. We were all very sad.
We have had many years with Abbey and Trouble. They have been part of our lives for a long time.
My oldest son, who will be twenty-nine in a couple of weeks, has moved on into adulthood and has his own home. My youngest son, who is ten, became Abbey's owner and caretaker. This has been a wonderful and loving relationship for several years now.
Abbey became ill a couple of weeks ago. She had some sort of cancerous disease. The last four days, she has gone downhill rapidly.
The family made the decision to care for her at home, not to put her to sleep, but to let nature take its course.
My youngest son has held water up to her mouth so she could drink several times a day. He has prepared special food for her and encouraged her to take bites. As she has wandered over our acreage, during the last few days, he followed her, watered her, made sure she was comfortable.
It was a beautiful thing to watch him care for Abbey in this way, without help, and without being told.
Today, with tears and shovel, he said his final goodbye, alongside his dad as he buried his dog.
His first lesson in death. I think he learned a lot about compassion and care.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

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