In the early years, man's best friend is your buddy who stands by your side, no matter what. Great walks, fun games of catch or chase, swims through rivers all become memories. Fond and wonderful memories.
But as the years wear on, things start to change. No longer can she jump into the truck. You have to lift her in and out. No longer do her back legs work. You need to be careful where you walk.
You both survive issues and at some point she becomes a cancer survivor as you sit with her every few weeks getting chemo injections.
Then suddenly, more issues arise.
Your best friend can't tell you what's wrong, but you find yourself watching her and wondering why she stopped eating. Or why she's stopped drinking water. And other issues that start to plague your buddy.
Your vet tries their best with each new development, but with each new symptom the old symptoms are left behind while the new ones get treated.
It's hard to know when you're saving her or when you're just drawing out her misery. And through it all, she still wags her tail when she see's you. So you think things might be better than they seem.
Or are they?
And then I had a dream. It's like a message or a warning. I'll never know for sure.
In that dream, I watch my dog with new nylon braces on her back legs and she's trotting away from me. She looks back over her shoulder every few feet, but she keeps walking. It's like she's saying goodbye.
I have those damn quicksand legs that keep me from going after my best friend while she keeps getting farther away. She won't stop walking but keeps looking back.
In this dream, I finally break out and start running after my best friend, but then she turns a corner and is out of sight. No matter how hard I run, no matter how many corners I look around, she's gone.
And when I wake, I have no clue if I've been given a chance to prepare, seen my own fears, or a message on what I need to do. It's like my own personal hell as if old Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol just visited to warn me. A warning to stop stepping over her but instead to stop and give her a loving nudge each time. Because I'll never know when she'll turn that corner.
All I know is that when your best friend walks away in your dream, it destroys you. It becomes a memory I can't shake. It will haunt me until...