Dogs. My life would be so much less without them. That’s why the news this week hit hard. I learned my beloved dalmatian has cancer and not much time left. She’s eleven years old. She’s at home now being spoiled. As long as she remains relatively pain free and happy, I’ll help her live as long as she can. I never want to put another dog to sleep. I sure hope she passes at home peacefully.

My other dog will be 15 next month, so she doesn’t have much time left either. They have been inseparable and best friends from day one, so I don’t think she’ll do well when her buddy is gone. When my dalmatian was at the vet, she just moped and looked as sad as could be. Even the cat was upset, though he wouldn’t admit it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been through this. My first dalmatian lived to 15, and she was my sidekick, more so than any dog I’ve had. I was a mess after she died. There is such a high price to pay for loving a dog. You know that you’ll have to say goodbye eventually. It’s especially hard to lose a dalmatian because they are fiercely loyal, and always by your side. They’re the perfect breed for single people.

If I’m honest, though, she was a terror when she was a puppy. She didn’t obey any commands, jumped the fence constantly, tore up every plant in the yard, ate everything off the kitchen counters, and ran through the house like a wild pig. She was terrible! The first two years were a nightmare, but she turned out to be a very lovable and friendly dog. Dogs are a lot like kids. Usually, the wildest kids who are the hardest to raise turn out to be the most successful and likable adults. They have so much life in them.

The cat is still going strong, which is ironic. I literally had to pick his limp body up off the floor and rush him to the vet more than once when he was young. He was close to death several times. According to my vet, he wasn’t supposed to live past three, but here he is at thirteen, more ornery and hungry than ever.

I still remember the joy of seeing him jump up on the back of a chair when I wasn’t sure if he had made it through the night before. He was happy and healthy, and yes, hungry. After all the terrible luck I had with goldfish, Snickers restored my faith.

What we go through for our pets… But, it’s easy to do so much for them because you know they’d do the same for you in a heartbeat. They’re way better than people.

Yes, I will get another dog eventually, though probably not a dalmatian. They require a lot of training and somebody at home throughout the day when they’re young. I’ll probably get a shelter dog who needs a good home. My other dog came from a shelter, and she has been the best behaved dog I’ve ever had. She’s also extremely loyal and protective.

But, I know I’m going to have my heart ripped out soon, and twice. Dogs. They’re still worth it.

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