The Dog Days of Summer

I am worried about my dog, Cotton. As I write this, she is recovering from her second stroke this year. She is losing her balance and leaning to one side. It looked like she made a full recovery from the last stroke, but she was hit again. For now I do what I can for her and pray that she gets better.

For the last 30 years, I have adopted rescued dogs. Over the last 10 years, I have adopted “old” rescued dogs. The old ones have a harder time finding homes. As a result, I lose a dog every two to three years and it rips my heart out each time. I lost two in one year, one to cancer and to heart failure. The most tragic one was Tig, an American Eskimo we adopted.  While we were out for a walk, a dog got us by surprise and attacked her. He recovered from the bites, but a staph infection made it to the heart.  He was with us about 6 months.

But I keep doing it. Instead of thinking about the pain I think of the joy that we can bring to the dog. They can live their last years in a safe environment, no kids or other animals to deal with, being well fed, full fenced in backyard and overall living the life of luxury.

I treat life the same way. I can look at the pain, suffering, the unfairness, the violence, and the anger or I can see the joy, the smiles and the acts of kindness all around me. I choose not to watch the news. I do read the newspaper, where I can pick and choose what I pay attention to. I choose who I work with by having my own business. I am careful with my choices.

I know that I will lose Cotton. Her days are numbered. As my husband reminds me, “it is not if we die, it is when we die.”

Maybe I wear rose-colored glasses, but I like the life that I have created. I hope you like yours as well.

Mary Guldan-Lindstrom  

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