Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

…And it IS Happy

Today is Buddy’s official 15th birthday—at least the one we pretend is official, even though he probably turned 15 a while ago. Just two days ago, I wasn’t sure if he would make it.

Last week, I saw our dear dog crumpled and shaking on the floor and called a vet-who-makes-house calls. And then I lay next to him and sobbed my goodbyes.

But the vet—who called Buddy "beyond old"—said that what he has might not be fatal. Truthfully, we still don’t know. Since then, I’ve slept on the floor to keep him from hurting himself, cooked him special foods and then hand-fed them to him bite by bite, awakened every few hours around the clock to carry him outside in a towel (not so easy with a 60 lb. dog), run home during my half-hour lunch breaks to let him out, rearranged the furniture and rugs to help keep him from falling, kept records of his potty breaks, and cried with joy when he picked up a toy and barked out the window once more at a passerby. Yesterday he ate his first meal in almost two weeks.

And he’s been improving in tiny increments each day. He still has to be helped down the two stairs to the backyard and whines/barks whenever we try to sleep—I am beyond tired right now—but we’re hoping those too will improve. I apologize for having neglected your blogs these past two weeks.  Am hoping to start reclaiming my life.

Throughout it all I've been soothed by your prayers and good wishes. There are times I am certain I can feel them. I simply can't express how much that means to me.

I know that, no matter what, it’s only borrowed time. But the older I get, the more I realize it’s all borrowed—all of it. Now this one borrowed thing is all the more precious to us. As long as living isn’t a burden to him, we hope we have him around. When it’s time to give back our borrowed loved one, we’ll know we did the very best we could with what we had.

Now that’s a birthday gift.

Which reminds me—Chicken Soup for the Soul My Dog’s Life coincidentally came out last week just as we were dealing with Buddy’s illness. My story in it is called "The Last Gift."  If you are so inclined, please read the book and consider posting a review on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com, and thank you!

And welcome to new blog follower Josh Hoyt!  Don't forget to stop by his blog and diagnose your characters.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. ~Kahlil Gibran


  1. Oh, Tammy! I know what you've been going through and I'm so happy to hear that Buddy is doing better and had a nice birthday!! You definitely have given him wonderful years of love and caring. Let me know if I can do anything for you! Hugs & love.

  2. That is such a hard thing to go through! Happy Birthday to Buddy, and I hope that he feels better soon.

  3. You made me cry. Borrowed time... you have been such a good mama to Buddy. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are for Buddy.

  4. I'm glad he is feeling better. I really like the comment about the borrowed time and agree it is all borrowed time. Good post.

  5. I'm glad Buddy has bounced back. The photo is marvelous. Not at all what I imagined Buddy looking like. He is full of character!

    Yes, we're all on borrowed time, so we have to embrace it that much tighter...

    Check out my post today (Thursday, April 21). There is an award for you.

  6. Buddy is a handsome boy! It is painful to watch our furry kids age, and saying goodbye is an ache that never ends. God bless you for being such a wonderful "mom" to your friend. He is as lucky to have you as you are to have him.

    (I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is "Pawsitive Pondering," and today's letter was R for Remembrance where I recalled the pets I have loved. Their gift of unconditional love is something that remains with us always.)

  7. Oh Tammy, I've been away too long and have offered no sympathy, I'm so sorry. I know exactly where you are I did the same with my last borrowed loved one. Sleeping on a concrete basement floor was not fun.

    I'm wishing Buddy a belated happy birthday and continued improvement. For you... always here if you need anything :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. I'm so glad Buddy has pulled through. Our 'dumb' friends give so much to us and capture our hearts.


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