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My Dog Sages

A journey of love, tears, and wisdom

By Ute Luppertz ✨ Published 25 days ago 7 min read
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My Dog Sages
Photo by Kristine Tanne on Unsplash

I am so tired. How much longer can I do this? I get up every night, reposition their bodies, help them drink water, and take a pee break. I clean up poop, wipe them clean, and try not to freak out when I hear them moan from pain. When I hear the cries, I fly out of bed, no matter how deep my sleep is.

Are you okay, love? What do you need? Please tell me, please show me. What can I do to make you more comfortable? Do you need more pain meds? A sedative? Would you like me to hug you some more? No, I won’t leave your side, precious one, darling dog.

Salila

Salila - photo by author

Salila, my ancient sage, my spirit dog, was sent to me by my soul dog Shiva after his passing many years ago. Salila digs the program; somehow, she knows her time here in this failing body is limited. Gracefully, she is relaxing into the other world, letting her body go gently, bit by bit. Salila is brilliant; she’s the wise one.

Some days she eats, other days not so much, often just some baby food. The dog food irritates her sensitive stomach. She still enjoys hobbling around in the yard when it is dry outside. She still asks for my dinner plate and licks it clean when I eat.

Oops, today we had another accident, a lack of bladder function. I kiss her, clean the mess, and rewash the bedding. And on we go.

I only got a little done these last few days, weeks, and months other than tending to them. I have not slept more than a few hours each night and have developed superpowers to function. My world has become single-focused. My focus is my dogs. My purpose is to serve them at this crossroads of their lives.

Jonah

Jonah - photo by C.Pullen

And then there’s my Jonah love, my beautiful hero with that wounded look from times past. He has the purest of hearts and is so tender and gentle. After languishing at a local shelter, he came to us as an old man-dog. Salila showed him the ropes, and they became a bonded pair. I keep telling people that they’re a married couple.

It has been about five months now. Earlier this year, Jonah got sick with vestibular disease and had a complete loss of motor function. Yes, he recovered from it but has been much weaker since. It kills me that he is lucid and healthy but cannot move. Why? For how long? And why does he get up every night to check on me? Then he gets restless, and I must haul him to a different location. These days, it’s the backyard when the weather is nice.

That look on his face when his hind legs are mangled like pretzels, and he cannot move. Yes, dear, I am coming to help you, and here we lift again. Good boy, use your feet, please. Use any muscles you can sense. Oh, what a good boy you are.

Jonah’s hind end is almost completely gone; it has become mush. When I lift him, he is as heavy as a thousand-pound gorilla. Jonah, please hurry up with the drinking; I cannot hold you up much longer. Jonah, why don’t you eat? Should I reposition the food so that you can get to it? Should I hand-feed you slowly? Sorry, I got impatient for a moment.

Jonah is in the yard at the moment, and he’s very quiet. He has a wheelchair now. The wheelchair is a blessing. His eyes light up. He is having fun because he can move. Sometimes, he even tries to run with it, which does not work. I do my best not to show him how much work it is to strap his limp body into it. Off we go now for our senior walk.

My shoulders, back, and entire body hurt. I’m so run down. My nerves are shot. I am getting so tired that I cannot fall asleep anymore. It takes hours to unwind, and I must get up again before I know it, frequently five or six times a night.

A friend takes my big boy on occasion overnight so that I can rest a little. How lucky for me, how fortunate for Jonah, since he is truly loved there. How painful it is to let him go those nights. I cannot stop crying sometimes.

Surrender

My heart is weeping. Please let this come to an end. No, please let them stay around, please, PLEASE! Is anybody out there in this universe? God, give me a sign. What should I do? What can I do? I’m hurting.

I love them completely. I want this to be over soon. I want to be with them forever.

Some have suggested, “Put them down.” No, I cannot do it. I don’t feel it from them. Not yet. I need to keep going. There is a lesson in facing the destiny of living souls, surrendering to the all-encompassing infinite love between us, and surrendering to this journey. Spirit guides me and gives me superhuman strength to cope, love, and clean up after them—every day, every week, every month. And be patient.

The Body

Jonah cannot use his wheelchair anymore; his body has gotten too weak. Most days, I carry him because he crashes to the floor. He’s wearing a sporty harness, which is helpful as long as I can hold him up long enough for him to relieve himself.

A little while later, we transition to me expressing his bladder and bowels, and there’s more muscle wasting.

Salila has become stiff as a board, and a wheelchair is not an option for her. I carry my precious girl now, too, in and out, in and out.

Lessons

I’m getting desperate and call on the spirit dogs, those who have crossed the big divide, those who are available on the other side to help and guide my companions and me.

There are many days when I think that Salila is going to depart. Yes, finally. My heart grows vast and heavy with pain and anticipation — and joy that her suffering will be over.

But, wait, she says, I am not entirely done yet, dear. I have some more business to do here. You will understand later. Great, you are still here, my Salila love. I cherish every moment with you. I will stay close to you now, she says. I know my time is getting short here on this plane.

Sometimes, she manages to limp through the house to find me. As little as my house is, it is like a journey from New York to San Francisco to get from the front of the house to my bedroom in the back. But here she comes, undeterred by her failing body until she can’t defy it anymore.

Stillness

I am aching so much. I am loving so much. I am offering myself to the great spirit of all things and creatures, surrendering all that is left of my old self, abandoning the notion of time as I have known it — the great mystery.

Jonah and Salila, you are my spirit dogs, my great teachers, and you have shown me the threshold of stillness. The knowing that it will be revealed when you want to release your spirit from your body. Eternity will guide us.

Epilogue

This writing was a cathartic way of expressing my heartache about my beautiful dogs. A few days after this piece was complete, Salila died. Her soulmate Jonah fell apart and let go after he witnessed her leaving her body. Jonah followed his Salila forty-eight hours later.

Don’t feel sorry for me. My love is as big as the ocean, and so is theirs. I can hear the sound of the waves whenever I get still enough to listen.

vethealthdog
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About the Creator

Ute Luppertz ✨

I am an animal lover, a meditator, and a wisdom keeper. I live my passion through writing about life and animals and working as a pet death doula and animal communicator.

You can learn more about me here: petspointofview

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Anna 23 days ago

    Your dog is so adorable!!🥺

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