The past few weeks have been challenging in a first world kind of way. My dear father-in-law passed away quickly one day, leaving a hole in our hearts and lives. We were comforted by his long, admirable life.
Then Jigga the dog required surgery to remove a growth on her leg. We banded together making accommodations to keep her comfortable and calm as she healed, when suddenly she began limping on the other hind leg. A visit to the vet confirmed the equivalent of an ACL tear. Being informed that without surgery she would never again be able to run, play with her cousin dogs, or take walks, we opted for the surgery in this otherwise healthy dog.
Her recovery went well for about two weeks when a sudden leap in response to the doorbell resulted in a spinal injury. Within several hours when Mike and I were out of town, ED had to make the decision with the vet to put her to sleep. I FaceTimed Jigga wanting to assure her that we had not abandoned her and was touched by her lifting her ear in response. The boys shared her final moments. And we were all devastated.
Pets! Many years ago we had to put down a beloved tiger cat Minette. I am not an animal person, one who is attracted to every beast. I love pets as I love children: individually. Getting attached implies a commitment to love a creature that relies on me for its survival and loves me unconditionally in return. I take the responsibility seriously.
Greatly underestimating Mike’s involvement, I was surprised at his distress at Jigga’s passing. He confessed to losing sleep the night prior when it appeared that she was unwell. And he produced tears when informed of her death.
I do not look forward to our return home. Jigga was the one most excited to meet us, leaping around us relating everything that had gone on in our absence. She assured us that our presence was important, showing agitation if anyone was not at home. She taught us to love animals.