Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dog and Cat Sitting

R and P have gone to Washington to visit grandson #1 who is working there. They will probably see fantastic fireworks tonight and may have witnessed various patriotic parades or other events or displays today. Meanwhile, as usual, I am mostly ignoring the holiday -- I am not a holiday person. I am walking Molly, see above, a big, very shaggy aging mixed mutt. Lovable and totally doggy in her expectation of constant attention. I am a softy and feel guilty if not walking her or paying attention to her. Dust, the cat, in true cat fashion is very independent and only settles in for a bit of petting once an evening.

Molly is aging -- as are we all. I recently saw a youthful picture of her with a slim young body, now she has a matronly heft that's all too familiar to me. She is also getting a little deaf and possibly her eyesight is going. I can relate to that too. On a chat forum of women over 50 I have read, over the past year, many women mention older pets that have become disabled and had to be put down. It occurs to me that caring for an aging pet, and possibly having to deal with it's death, either natural of by choice, is one of the rites of passage for many women. Often the pets were brought into the family when children were young. Now the children are out of the nest, the pets are 10 to 20 years old and reaching the end of their lifespan. Many people at 50 still have active and healthy parents - and many parents aren't so active or healthy. The aging pet is a kind of practice for the inevitable with the parents -- not "putting them down" but often settling them into care facilities. I think this may be a fairly new phenomenon given the expanding life expectancies of both pets and people. I wonder if anybody's written a book about it.

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