Until the End

You lie in your favorite spot in the sun. You like the warmth. I sit with you and stroke you. Your breathing is steady, but it can be heard that you cannot breathe freely. If you lie still, everything is fine. You closed your eyes and I caress you, feel the warmth of your body and the calm that emanates from you. Stroking is good for your circulation, I’ve read. May be. A positive side effect, because above all it connects. We are just there. Before, when you were younger, you came and asked for it, the petting. Now you are old, you lie more than you used to and when I come to you to stroke you, it’s good. The hair has turned white and everything is a little more leisurely than before. It seems to me as if it was only yesterday that you came to us as a small, lively puppy. More than ten years have now passed. Where has the time gone?

Since then you have always been around me. I couldn’t and can’t imagine that it would ever be any different. You eagerly ran to the door when I came home to greet me. Now you don’t do it anymore. You wait patiently until I come to you. It’s like that when you get old. It is no different with dogs than with humans. We also have to go to the vet more often than before. You are still fiercely resisting it. It’s hard to explain, actually impossible, that it’s for your best interests and I wouldn’t if it weren’t necessary. The vet is empathetic and knows how to deal with your quirks. You don’t want to go there anyway. I can understand it. Also, your idiosyncrasies, which increase with age. You have always been stubborn, but over the years it has become more intense. If you don’t want to, I’ll let you have your way, except when it comes to visiting the vet. At some point you will no longer be able to climb the stairs. Then I’ll sleep with you on the mattress on the ground floor, just like at the beginning, when you were too little to climb the stairs. Everything seems to repeat itself, only that it was a beginning then and is now approaching the end. Inevitable. I don’t know how much time we have left, but I’ll be with you, like you with me, over the years. When you came to us, I made the decision to take responsibility for you, no matter what. I’ll redeem that until the end. You have filled my life with warmth and joy, trust me. How could I leave you alone? Maybe you are lucky enough to just fall asleep and never wake up. But it can also be that you have to be weakened and redeemed by illness. I will be with you there too. Many leave their animal friends alone at this moment. I couldn’t imagine. You will know what is going on because it is different than usual. Some people save that at all and give their animals, which have accompanied them for many years, to the shelter because they are getting old. Then they sit, alone and abandoned in a cage and do not understand why they suddenly no longer wanted by their human friends. There is nothing to understand about that either. After the owners have drawn emotional added value from them for a long time, they simply push them off, like an old piece of furniture that is no longer suitable. How can I bring this up to me without compelling reasons? Just the thought of this possibility should break the heart of a feeling person. But many of them don’t care about living things. As if there was no connection and no memory. I shake off the gloomy thoughts and look at you as you lie there calmly, with your eyes closed and my hand gliding over your fur. That too is not as soft as it used to be. It has become a little scruffy. But I love you, just as you are, then and now, with all your quirks and peculiarities, just as you unconditionally accepted me as a human, with all my quirks and peculiarities. Also, that I drag you to the vet. It is quickly forgiven. I can’t say how much time we have left together. Maybe years, maybe just more months, but one thing is certain, I’ll be with you until the end.

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