Our pooch recently had his annual checkup. He turned 12 last month and he is 93 in dog years! He’s a senior for sure and it’s getting more and more apparent although I have to admit, the old guy still has some spunk! He can’t see well. He can’t hear well. He follows me EVERYWHERE. He doesn’t play ball for endless hours like he used to and he takes it slow on the stairs. He’s a 90 pound Labrador and he sometimes has trouble getting up off his bed. He can’t get into our SUV on his own anymore. It’s sad to watch him grow old but as my mom recently reminded me, it’s part of having animals because they just don’t live as long as us.
Scooby went from being the baby himself when my husband and I (then boyfriend) brought him home as a 4 month old puppy, to becoming the proud watch dog of our 3 children. He is part of our family and my kids adore him. Lately, I’ve had to remind my daughters to take it easy with him. I don’t want them sitting on him and climbing all over him like they sometimes do. I don’t want him to overdo it playing with the kids outside because the vet said that he has very little muscle mass in his hind legs and too much playing will mean pain for him later on.
I am worried about how the next year or two will play out with our 4 legged buddy and I’m not sure how to prepare my children for the inevitable. Do I warn them of what is certain to come? I’ve mentioned that Scooby won’t be with us forever but I know they don’t fully understand. I don’t want to make them worry or feel sad because for now, he’s doing well and is as healthy as a 93 year old dog can be. To give you some idea of just how healthy our old guy is, let me tell you that he stole the kids’ leftover lunches right off their plates on the table when nobody was looking just the other day!
Do I tell my kids outright that Scooby is going to die? Or do I just let them continue to enjoy his companionship without worrying about what the future will bring? I’m leaning toward letting kids be kids and enjoy their furry pal for as long as possible because let’s face it, you can’t really prepare a person for losing a friend anyway.