5 Things I Wish I Had Done More or Less For My Senior Dog

I Wish We'd Gone To More Places Together

Anyone who knows me will tell you that my boy was spoiled. He was well-trained, but he was also mommy’s boy and it showed. Despite this, as we lay on the floor of our vet clinic on Saturday morning saying goodbye, I found myself with regrets.

Now, I know that we are always going to have regrets and these aren’t necessarily a reflection of our worth or the value of our relationships, but regrets are good for learning from. So today, I want to share with you 5 things that I wish I had done (more or less) for my senior dog before he crossed the bridge.

5 Things I Wish I’d Done More (or Less) For My Senior Dog Before He Died

I Wish I'd Given Jet More Treats1. Given in More

Jet’s weight was always of concern because his back legs were so damaged from arthritis and a CCL repair. Looking back on this, however, I wish that I had been able to find more middle ground and not denied him quite as many French fries


I Wish We'd Gone To More Places Together

2. Spent More of His Younger Years Out Exploring

I’m not talking about trips to PetCo, I’m talking about going to beaches, walking through state parks, and going on adventures where we both had things to learn. There is so much of the world to see and I feel like my boy only got to see a fraction of it.

Put Down the Electronics

3. Put Down the Electronics More

Yes, even someone as dog crazy as me wishes that she’d spent more time just enjoying time with her dog. As someone who is self-employed and chronically ill, I spend a lot of time trying to make ends meet and working on a laptop. There are so many times, however, when I would spend 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there just surfing the net, looking at funny pictures, or reading e-mails and I wish that I had spent that time with my senior dog instead. Yes, we already spent a lot of time together, but I STILL wish I’d had more of that time to enjoy.

4. Complained Less

I have written in the past about the need for respite care for senior dog parents, but even with respite care in place, there are days where complaining comes a little too easily.

I ALWAYS tried my very best to be aware of the fact that one day I too will be old, that the little quirks that my senior pup had were quirks I would miss when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge…but sometimes, just sometimes, it was too easy to complain. Whether it was “I didn’t get enough sleep and he’s being so demanding today” or “He waited to potty until after we came back inside”, I am guilty of complaining a little too freely about things that I miss so much today.

5. Worried Less

By virtue of simply being me, I believe that this is something that I will always struggle with. I noticed, however, that now that Jet has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, just how much time I spent worrying about doing the right thing for him. If I wasn’t worried about maintaining a stable weight to manage his joints, I was worried about finding the perfect dietary balance or making sure that he was “happy”.

I know, it’s an ironic note to end on when this entire article covers a list of things I worry I didn’t do enough or did too much. But, I think what I really want you to take away from this post is that it’s not the things that you worry about that will matter in the end, it’s the things you will miss while you’re worrying.

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1 Comment

  1. Suzanne
    May 16, 2017

    Wow, you are dead on. I could have written this. Spending too much time lately thinking the same thing, too much time on Twitter less time on dogs. But I did just 30 minutes ago split them a BK plain burger and small order of fries, lol! Also dealing with chronic illness, makes it too easy to sit. The 24/7 head-toe pain of Fibromyalgia for 10-12 years that I can’t tolerate meds for, screaming at doctors for last 2-1/2 years something ELSE wrong while they blamed the Fibro. End of Feb demanded ANA test for Lupus, positive. Good news! It’s not Lupus! Instead it’s TWO other auto-immune diseases with no cure and already organ damage. Great, more character builders. Too much on me. Complain less fits here :-).

    You gave Jet a great and healthy life and hard as it is, gave him the gift of removing his pain not extending it because you wanted him there. A tough one to remember. I suspect he’d agree.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your dogs the way you do.

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