When One Of Your Dogs Requires More Care Then Another

I have usually had more than one dog in my life at a time.  I love that my dogs have had another of their species for emotional support and understanding.  And yes, it makes things easier on me when they tire each other out!

Brickle and Digby were inseparable for over a decade.  They traveled the country and they lived life to the full together.  No, they didn’t always get along.  But their relationship worked.

And it was very hard to see Digby get ill.

Our whole family dynamic changed.  I felt like I needed to have two of me!  One to walk Digby very, very slow and someone else to give Brickle the exercise and attention he needed and deserved.

Those last months were the hardest physically on me than I realized.  There were some days I didn’t know how I could have the energy for another day or sleepless night. And yet, when my days with Digby were over, I was shattered.  Empty.  Heartbroken.

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And so was Brickle.  More than I knew.  He started wetting the bed which he never had done, and actually has not since.  He didn’t want to walk at all.  His grieving was not just about losing his best friend but also about losing the life they had built together.

None of us knew where we fit in or what to do with ourselves.  Although I had tried to give Brickle the attention he needed during that time, I fell short. I knew that I should have made a bigger effort to make sure Brickle was happy, fulfilled and healthy even though Digby was requiring most of my time.  I feel bad about that to this day.

But mistakes have a way of teaching you very valuable lessons.  Our family of three turned back into a family of four quickly.  It took only a couple of months to decide that Brickle’s happiness was more important than our grieving time or what other people thought.  So we adopted Fruitycake.

And now, over a year later, I find myself in a very similar situation.  I have one dog requiring much more physical assistance which is Brickle now.

And I have one dog who needs so much more exercise, love and attention too.

And I have learned that I must give each of my dogs equal attention and care.  They deserve that.  And I have also learned to ask for more help.  Because it isn’t about me and how much I can push myself to prove I can do it.  It is because of them that I ask for help so that they get what they need.

Every dog is an individual. And every dog teaches us something different.  Every dog also makes us see what we are truly capable of in regards to love, motivation and value.  Looking at our dogs as individuals and truly taking into account what they need may not be easy on us.  But it is our responsibility.  Enjoy it!

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