Wishing our dog could share her thoughts in her final days

Tri-City HeraldSeptember 23, 2012 

What do dogs think? It seems to be one of pet owners' top head-scratchers.

Lately, I've been wondering the same thing.

During the past "dog days" of summer, our elderly mutt has appeared to be contemplating life. And if Bebé prefers relaxing in the backyard to a romp in the park, who can blame her? In dog years — based on the inaccurate seven years to our one ratio — this canine isn't just old, she's geriatric.

Together we've shared a lot of memories since the day I found her abandoned on our rural road, chilled to the bone as winter approached. Walks in the countryside, hugs when grandkids arrived on the scene, and confidences — Bebeé always listened — underneath the shady maple tree have been years captured in moments.

Nowadays, this loveable old pet struggles to empty her feeding dish. A jog to the distant mailbox is painfully out of the question. Happiness arrives in doggie treats from a caring neighbor.

The veterinarian says it's time to think about bringing Bebé's life to a close — a "transition" in gentler words. Quality over quantity needs to be our primary concern.

Still, as I try to keep her comfortable, I hope for a rally — an afternoon when this silly old dog races after children, tail waving like a flag. A few more minutes of delight is all I yearn for in the waning sunset.

But as I greet Bebé each morning, my hand memorizing the warmth of her fur, I know the days are short. In her eyes, I see she knows it, too.

As we share those tender moments, I can't help but wonder what my dearly loved Bebé is thinking. Sadly, I only know what thought fills my grieving heart; the hope that dogs go to Heaven.

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