I know you will never be able to read this but I still need to say it. Since it’s Valentines Day, I just really want to say, I love you. Even though you’re often annoying and smelly, even though you are toxically flatulent and even though I’m pretty sure you gave me fleas once, I still love you.
The thing is though, are you really mine to love? I don’t know how you see our relationship but as far as we humans are concerned, dogs are property. We own you. You belong to us. I don’t know if that’s offensive to you or if you even care but that’s mostly academic, I’m just telling you how it is. And this is where the problem comes in. I don’t actually own you. Even though I feed you and give you baths and play with you and even though you sleep in my bed every night you’re not technically my dog. Make no mistake, I love you just as if you were. But you’re not, and that might become a problem really soon…
I don’t know what your memory is like, your brain seems really tiny so I have no idea how much you actually remember. Just in case you need a refresher, when you were a puppy, the kids of this house bought you for their mother, who was very sick with cancer at the time. She died not long after and then a little later the kids moved out of the house and got on with their own lives, leaving you with their widowed dad. I know you like him, probably because he feeds you whatever you ask for (even though I’ve been trying really hard to get him to stop doing that!) but still, he never really played fetch with you and his idea of petting you is to poke at you with his foot for a bit. So then when I moved in we got along great. Even though I only feed you dog food, at least I didn’t mind playing with a ball and rubbing your belly!
It’s been several years now and I think of you as my dog. Even though technically, you’re not mine. If you were, I certainly wouldn't have named you Jackie! Also, I would never have let you get this badly overweight. OK, you know what? I can’t keep dancing around this forever, I’m just going to tell you. Remember when all Oom Eddie’s children and grandchildren came over the other day? Well those kids who bought you originally think you should be put to sleep.
Did you know that in 2 months you turn 14? That is really old for a Dachshund! Anyway, they look at how old you are and how, well lets be honest, how fat you are and decided that you would probably be better off dead. For the record, I disagreed strongly! I told them that you still had a lot of life left in you and that they should leave you alone. I think they will. For now. Something tells me they weren’t completely convinced. They seem really set on the idea of putting you to sleep and getting their dad a new puppy for company.
But now I wonder, am I being selfish? I look at you and I still see the light in your eyes and I think you have some life left to live. But how is that life? I really wish you could tell me. Those weird bumps that appeared on your ribcage, do they bother you? When you lick your paws, is it just because you compulsively lick everything or do they hurt now? How is your back coping? Thinner, younger Dachshunds than you have had their backs give out. You may be dumb as a box of hammers but you are tough as nails my sweet sausage, I know that. I've seen you take a lot without making a peep so how can I know how you really feel? I'm definitely pro-euthanasia. I wish it was an option for me actually! No, really, I've seen what old age and degenerative diseases can do to people and if it came to that for me, I would like someone to put me to sleep. Yet, when you smile at me I find I'm suddenly not so pro-euthanasia anymore. Is that selfish? I just don't want to think of my life without you right now.
Usually when I blog about you, it's to make fun of you and your quirky, suicidal ways. But today is a day for love so I wanted to just say it, even if you can never hear it. I hate that now that love is tinged with sadness. I don't know how long you're still going to be around, I wish it could be many more years but I know that's not really possible. Just know that if you were my dog I would have named you something more appropriate but I would have loved you no less.
Happy Valentines Day.