Last week, I took my dog Bella for a walk on the Dunedin Causeway, not far from where I live. It’s a nice beach area with kayak and paddleboard rentals, and a nice view of the gulf. Bella is a black lab my family got from a breeder back in 2006, not long after our other dog, Zoe. She brought laughter and joy back to us in that time of grief. She was also a terror when it came to tearing up furniture, and playing manipulative games to get her way. As I type, she is now at the ripe old age of 12 years, with gray hair and arthritic joints. Knowing that she may not have very much time left with my Mom and I, we try to make her happy with little things that a dog enjoys. New toys, treats, bits of food from our own meals every so often, and love. She loves pizza crust, but it’s given in limited amounts. When I take her for walks, sometimes I’ll sit in the grass with her where she likes to roll around, and kick her legs in the air.
I’ve noticed that in the last few months Bella has become more affectionate, and clingy. I have the sad feeling that she may be aware that she has limited time left, and maybe is trying to savor it with us. She had a vet visit a few days before this trip, and she has some masses around her abdomen, along with little bumps all over her body. They are common in older dogs, and often are fatty tumors, but they can also turn into cancer sometimes. The vet wasn’t really able to tell, and considering her age didn’t want to do anything invasive. If it were cancer, we wouldn’t want to put her through chemo, since she is already advanced in age, and has other issues affecting her. She has been put on anti-inflammatory and pain medication to help her deal with her arthritic joints, as well. The main objective is just to keep her comfortable and happy. When there comes a point that her quality of life is drastically reduced, we will know it’s time to let her go. For now, we want for her to enjoy life and be happy.
With these things in mind, I decided to take the camera with me when at the beach. I want to save memories of her when she was happy. Remembering that she had happy times will help us later on when she has passed.
Thanks for reading. I am working on some new projects for the site, so those will be posted soon as they are ready. Keep your eyes out!