Despite Cancer, I'm Thankful for My Life
My name is Dakota. That wasn't always my name, but I'm old now, and it's been a long time, so I don't remember what the people called me in my former home. It was an ugly place. I think they probably called me a lot of ugly names.
I do remember the day, long ago, when my forever mom picked me up.
I knew something was up because when my people came outside, instead of kicking me, they took me off the chain in the backyard and brought me into the house. I was excited — maybe they were going to spend some time with me! I wanted to show my family I could take care of them, so I barked when a strange lady walked into the house. Instead of praising me, one of the kids hit me so hard, he knocked me off the couch. The lady gasped. She asked them to get my food and water bowls, but no one could find them. The lady said it was OK, she didn't need them.
When we got to the lady's house, we met a man, and they gave me a bath, which I'd never had. It was so nice and warm, and these new people gave me rubs all over the whole time. I loved it! I heard the lady tell the man it was OK that I wasn't a full dachshund like she had been told. She said she just had to get me out of that place. I was glad she did.
I was so happy when they told me they would be my new mom and dad, and I loved my new name: Dakota.
I've always been thankful for the day 11 years ago when my mom rescued me , but never as thankful as I am this year. You see, I heard my doctor tell my mom that my wheezing and this big lump in my throat is "inoperable cancer." I didn't know what that meant until I saw my mom crying on the way home; Mom told me I was going to have to leave them, like my doggy sisters Molly and Emma had.
I'm not thankful for the cancer. It makes my throat burn, and it makes my mom and dad sad. But I am thankful for my good life and the care they are giving me.
If I had my way, my mom and dad would cuddle and rub me all day, but they tell me they have to do other things sometimes! But I know my mom and dad cuddle with me as much as they possibly can. We play a game called "Rubbins and Luvins." They give me massages, and when they quit, I give them a tiny kiss on their chin to let them know I'm not done. So they do it more. Since we came home from the vet's that day, we've been playing this game a lot more.
All my doggy siblings are happy because every dog now gets a little yummy canned food along with our kibble at mealtime so my mom can hide my pills in mine. Well, she thinks she's hiding them, but I know they're there. I don't mind, though, because Mom says the pills are helping me stay with them longer, and I'd do anything for that.
Except for the wheezing, I feel good. I chased a rabbit in the yard the other day and still sniff around in interesting holes in the yard that smell like those armadillos.
During the rubbins game, Mom told me she will not let me hurt, and not to be afraid, but my cancer will soon send me someplace called the Rainbow Bridge. It is beautiful there, with lots of dogs, fields to run in and endless treats. Emma and Molly are there waiting for me, and that's where we'll be waiting for her and Dad someday.
I give my mom more luvins to let her know I understand. I knew from the day I met them my mom and dad would always take care of me. I'm thankful for the love I feel, and I know when I have to leave, I'll be grateful for having had a life as beautiful as my name.
If your pet could write what he or she is thankful for this year, what would it be? Have your pet tell us in the comments.
Photo Credit: Kerri Fivecoat Campbell
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