I have always been a night person. I love the energy and creativity that I seem to have in the evening hours. But lately, nights take on a whole new meaning because of my senior dog.
I am not new to senior dog life. My dog Digby Pancake was ill in his last years and seemed to require more bathroom breaks at night. Those midnight walks I did not appreciate as I should have. I worried about him. I let that worry overshadow the joy of simply being together.
And now, my senior dog Peanut Butter Brickle is requiring more of the same but on a very different level.
For Brickle, it isn’t just about needing to go to the bathroom at night. It is about anxiety and trying to find a way to relieve it. It is about pain management and moving his legs that hurt so much. It is about spending time with me. I know that. And I am more than alright with that. But I have to admit, I am pretty tired.
During the day, I am fortunate to be able to work from home with my dogs by my side. But I am working, and I am preoccupied. That’s just the truth. We all have to make a living. I have to be able to afford the ingredients for all of the home cooked meals they get!
But at night, Brickle knows I have his full attention. And those midnight walks with my senior dog makes me feel needed too, if I am being honest with myself. He can walk longer in the cool night air. There isn’t traffic to fight with. And we can talk. Yes, I talk out loud to Brickle. I tell him he is doing a great job as he gets older in dealing with the aches and pains. I tell him about our future plans and how I want him with us as long as forever. I talk about experiences we have shared, about Digby, about Fruitycake now and how much he means to all of us. The midnight walks with my senior dog I know will just be a memory one day. And I want to make the time count.
I am tired. Having my sleep interrupted is hard. Since we travel so much, I have to make sure that I am safe wherever we are. And during the day, I find myself wanting to take a nap. But I feel like these are very small sacrifices. My dog depends on me. I depend on him. When someone isn’t feeling the best, in a family, we do our best to help that one. We are realistic that time with our loved ones is short. Don’t waste it. Take those midnight walks with your senior dog if she asks you to. Look at the moon, feel the breeze, appreciate life in the moment like your dog.