Dear Tired Senior Dog Parent,
I know that this is hard.
I know that there are days when you despair and you don’t think that anyone can possibly understand because, after all, “it’s just a dog”.
I know that sometimes you feel like you are working two jobs – professional by day, caretaker and nurse by night.
I know that you feel guilty.
You hate yourself for feeling so tired, for wishing that you could have just that one more hour of sleep when those early morning shuffles begin.
I know that you can’t bear to even voice the exhaustion you feel because God forbid that someone might think that you resent that cold wet nose that needs you so much right now.
Most of all, I know that you are trying. You are doing the very best that you can.
It’s okay to feel tired, burned out, and in need of a nap.
You are not a failure for feeling the fatigue of caretaker burnout.
You are not “crazy” for caring so much for “just a dog”.
You are not a “bad person” for needing to step away and take a breath and it certainly doesn’t mean that you love your senior dog any less.
What I want you to know is this…
These days will not last forever.
In these hours when you feel so worn, so alone, lie your tired body down beside that frosted senior soul.
Place your hand on their chest and feel the rhythmic rise and fall of their breathing.
Take charge from the everlasting love that they have given to you for all their life.
Engrave this moment in your memory – the smell of their fur, the hush of their breath, the feel of their coat underneath your fingertips.
Let go of the worry.
Stop thinking about the “what if’s”.
Just take this moment for what it is, the here and the now and let that be enough.