Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Heart Dogs

Gosh, I love this dog so much! Travis was a diamond in the rough, but Katie has always been a gem. The thought of having neither of them seems completely unbearable to me. I think I would have a complete nervous breakdown if anything happens to Katie in the near future. I hate that she is 3 weeks older than Travis (both are/were 10 years old) and he is already gone. I just hope she can stick around for another 3, 4, 5 healthy years or so. Katie seems to embrace aging more so than Travis did. Travis avoided it completely. Nothing about him suggested he was 10 years old. But Katie's muzzle has changed from charcoal to light grey and white. Her eyes aren't as bright and clear as Travis' were. She has a slight gimp when she walks. While Travis appeared to be 5 years old, Katie looks like an 8 - 10 year old in great shape. Her fitness and energy level are high. Her muscle tone looks great. She has all of her (crooked) teeth firmly planted into healthy gums (thank goodness for raw food!). There is no reason to think she won't continue as she is for the next few years. But we all know how fast that can change also.

While Katie looks the part of a sweet, old lady, she certainly doesn't play the part. Katie doesn't behave like a senior. She still runs, jumps, plays, fetches toys, and practices obedience. Her gimp from the spinal stroke is noticeable, but it does not slow her down.

Maybe by the time she is 15 (because she is going to live at least that long), I will have another heart dog. Most people seem to refer to their heart dog as a once-in-a-lifetime dog. Well, I have already had 2 once-in-a-lifetime heart dogs. I would hope that over my lifetime there are numerous heart dogs. Especially as life goes on and things change, I hope there will be a wonderful heart dog by my side for the given situation and teaching me something new. I am terribly spoiled having had 2 amazing heart dogs for most of the last 7 years.

Maybe Reagan will be a heart dog. She has a long way to go before earning that label. I think my biggest fear is not having another dog I love as much as Katie and Travis. I love them all, but its not equal. Some work harder for it than others and it takes me awhile to fall in love, but I do want to fall in love with another heart dog whoever he or she may be.


Sientay L said...

It sounds like you're describing Dino, except he's not perfect in obedience and agility. I like to think Dino will live to be 15, and I tell him that all the time. Everything you described about Katie seemed to be Dino too. He looks old (he's just 9), a bit stiff and gimpy sometimes, but plays like a puppy. I hope our heart dogs(Dino is more of Paul's heart dog) will live to the happy old age of 15.

KF-in-Georgia said...

In five more days, Sam will become the oldest dog I've ever owned. Oreo holds that title right now, at 8 years, 4 months, and 10 days. I've yet to own a real senior.

Sam is slowing down. Sometimes he has a bit of a limp until he works off the stiffness. But he still plays with toys (in my bedroom in the morning, while I'm getting dressed). He still gets into everything he possibly can. And he started going white in his face back when he was 4 or 5 (when Oreo died, Sam had more white in his face than she did).

Oreo was a "heart dog"--she was the first, she was a mama's girl, she was affectionate and eager to please.

But Sam's a "heart dog"--and the first few years he was here, I never thought I'd say that. He's a cuddly boy who comes and lays his head in my lap; he snuggles in my bed, pushes in between Jacey and me on the sofa. He's also an absolute demon at times, and I haven't killed him. That may be the real test of a heart dog for me.

Jacey? Jacey's an obsessive, neurotic little idiot. Sweet, but not terribly affectionate. Not much personality; she doesn't try to charm--and so she doesn't. That may change (she's been here two years, and it took a while with Sam).

Heart dogs or not, I want them around for a long time. But I look at Sam while I'm making a post like this and I get all tear-y. He won't be around forever.

Zan said...

Your post made my eyes misty; guess I've been missing my own heart dogs. I believe you can have more than one heart dog. The world would be a sad place if you could only have one. Dogs are like kids, you can love more than one, you just love them different. I know what you mean though, it take time to develop true love whether for a human or a dog. If it didn't, that love wouldn't mean as much.

IHateToast said...

i think you can have more than one, too. like widows who find love again. it's not the same love but it's as deep. the relationships are different.
watching you grieve has made me realise that i'll lose my dogs, too. i've lost pets before, of course, but now that i blog and follow others, the reminder is there. damn things need to live forever!

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Gosh I'm so weird I guess. I don't ever want another heart dog like Spooky:-/ I loved her so much that even before I lost her there were some days I made myself sick thinking about how life might be without her. It's been over 8 months and I still cry if I think about her too much.
I don't know if I will ever have another heart dog, I think for now I resist it.