I really don’t like to see them sad. Lately, they just seem to be upset whenever they are around me. I can tell they still really love me, but their hugs last longer and they often have tears in their eyes when they talk to me and tell me how much they love me. I would do anything for my family and right now. I just wish I could make them happy.

Through my life we have had many happy times. I remember the first time I met them. I was just playing with my brothers and sisters when the man, woman and little girl walked into the room. Everyone was smiling and laughing as my brothers and sisters ran over to them and jumped up on their legs. They practically knocked the little girl over! I just hung back and watched. I was interested in what was going on, but I just didn’t act foolish like my siblings.

They spent a lot of time looking all of us over. They picked me up several times before finally handing me to the little girl. The little girl giggled and whispered to the woman. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but they both were looking at me smiling and I couldn’t help but give a few wags of my tail. In a matter of minutes, I was laying on the girl’s lap in the backseat of the car.

That ended up being the best day of my life. Very quickly, I grew to really love my new family, and they really seemed to love me. Initially, I got in trouble and they had to correct me, but quickly I understood what they wanted me to do and for the most part I stayed out of trouble. My days were filled with playing ball, going for long walks, and relaxing on the couch with my family. I would do anything for my family and it seemed they would do anything for me.

Over the years, they would occasionally take me on trips in the car. Sometimes we would go to a fun place full of nice people and other dogs. When I was young, I went there a lot. We would all walk in and there were dogs barking, so I would bark back at them. We would end up in a room and before I knew it, people would be parading in talking so nice to me and giving me treats! Then some guy came in wearing a white coat. He was always nice to me. Sure, there were times he would feel around on me and poke me with little sharp needles, but he always talked so nice to me and gave me treats afterwards.

For quite a few years we didn’t go to this place very often, but over the last couple of years my trips to this place had become more frequent. I had started having some pain when I went to get up and it really bothered me trying to jump onto the couch. This really seemed to bother my family and prompted them to take me to the guy in the white coat. They had started giving some treats every day that really seemed to help with my pain. Initially, I would feel much better and wasn’t nearly as painful, but after a while I would start getting more painful again. We would make another trip to the guy in the white coat and I would start getting extra treats for a while. The pain would be better again. This was repeated a couple more times for a couple years, but now the pain was bad enough that I had begun to really struggle just moving around and going outside to go to the bathroom.

Today just seems different though. After another car ride, we are back at the place with the nice people. My family has seemed even more sad all day today. I think I could have walked into the building, but they carried me into the building and placed me on a blanket on the floor. Everyone was giving me hugs and telling me how much they loved me. Some of the nice people I saw every time I came here were even hugging me. I even saw them tearing up a little. The guy in the white coat came in and gave me a big hug, whispering in my ear that everything was going to be alright. He even looked like he was about to cry. I wish I could talk to everyone and just tell them how much I loved them and thank them for giving me such a good life. I would do anything for them and I know they would do anything for me.

While they were hugging me, the guy in the white coat poked me with another needle. It really didn’t hurt nearly as much as my joints have been hurting lately. I could feel so many hands petting me and hear everyone talking to me quietly. Suddenly, my pain faded away and I started feeling sleepy. I have had a great life……………

Chad Higgins, DVM has owned Amanda Animal Hospital for twenty years. He sees dogs, cats, ferrets, and other little furry critters.