What do you do when your dog grows old? When his feet are tired and the pads are worn? When your words of praise are muffled in his ears, and his eyes are milky from their years of use? When his face is grizzled and his color isn’t as vibrant?
You love him.
You rub the feet that dutifully carried him by your side.
You speak your praises more loudly, so everybody else can hear the words that he can’t.
You guide him the way he has guided you, and prevent him from getting lost as you were before he came along.
You kiss his muzzle and admire the wisdom that has beset him in his later years.
And when it comes time to put him to his final rest, knowing that an irreplaceable part of your heart will follow him, you will do so knowing that you loved him.
And he loved you more.
- —Written by Jackie Short-Nguyen