My Dog, Gidget

FW84-ToMyPet

I’ll be honest. I’ve put off writing this post for some time, because today would have been her 18th birthday. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to write it. Instead, I knew penning this story would bring up many emotions that I wasn’t sure I was ready to confront.

Over the years, I have written several posts about my miniature poodle, Gidget. From my references to her in other posts, one could easily tell how much Gidget was a part of my family. Sadly, on Friday, October 13th, 2017, Gidget passed away in my arms at the age of 17. Just writing that sentence makes my heart break and brings tears to my eyes. Losing a pet is tough. The house is quieter with a sudden emptiness in all the rooms, and days no longer consist of vet trips, feedings, and asking, “Where’s Gidget?” However, during these past ten months, I have learned what it means to love and be loved by an older pet. The lessons are ones that people, no matter what their life consists of, can relate to and use.

  • Enjoy the present and don’t worry about the future. Gidget started getting sick late spring of last year. My family began to grieve and dread what life would be like without her. Yet, Gidget was still with us, not in pain, and could have a couple of months to a couple of years left. From this, Gidget taught us to enjoy the present and not worry about the future. Changing my mindset and starting to live in the present with Gidget made all the difference. Reflecting on her younger years and funny memories became easier because we were still making special moments. The future comes far too quickly, and the best thing anyone can do is to live in the present.
  • Be thankful for the times you spent together.My opinion might be a little biased, but Gidget had the world’s biggest personality. She was sweet, friendly, sneaky, a ham, and a major cuddle-bug. She always knew how to put a smile on a person’s face and how to get all the attention. (Ever had a dog who would take a small piece of food and “attack” it in front of everyone just to get all the claps and praise? Yes, that was Gidget.) Looking back at all of these times, I am always brought to laughter. A piece of advice: whenever you are feeling sad and missing a loved one, reflect on the good times you spent together. This is just one of the many ways you will feel closer to them.
  • You’ll never regret spending time caring for a loved one. Everyone has their own way of taking care of loved ones and should do what works for them. In my family, we treated Gidget like an elderly human family member. When she got really sick and even before that, our lives rotated around her and her needs. Life was busy during this time, with vet trips three times a week for fluids and assisting Gidget with her feeding four times a day. However, if we were given the chance, every single member of my family would do that all over again, because, in return, Gidget gave us love. As I mentioned above, she was a huge cuddle-bug. It was our nightly ritual for me to hold her on my chest as we drifted off to sleep. Towards the end, Gidget never wanted to be put down at night, and I don’t look back at the loss of sleep and everything we did for her with regret. This is the same with other family members and friends. Go the extra step for them when they are sick.
  • Love never truly leaves you.Whether it be a human or a pet, loved ones will always stay in your heart, no matter what. There are little reminders of Gidget throughout the house, just like there are reminders of my grandfather, who has passed away. In her later years, Gidget taught me that she will always be a part of this family and will keep loving us, even after she’s gone.

Loving an older pet is something very special. You and your animal grow closer on a different level, and they become more dependent on you. In return, your pet gives you extra love and many memories, just like Gidget gave my family and me.

xoxo,

Megan

Advertisements

Lessons from My Furry Friend

14100395_10154583527704548_9016627180656408705_n

Pets are more than animals living in our homes; they are family members. We provide for them, spend time with them and love them like the rest of our family.

My family got our dog when I was in the second grade. Seventeen years later, our little miniature poodle with apricot colored fur named Gidget is still an important, lovable part of our lives. Looking back at the past years, Gidget has taught my family and me lifelong lessons, such as the ones below.

  1. Forgive easily — Sometimes forgiving others is easier said than done. However, when you can forgive easily, life will be better. Dogs are quick to forgive their owners for their imperfections and will always provide doggie kisses and an “it’s ok, I still love you” look.
  2. Enjoy the day — There is nothing better than spending the day eating, playing and sleeping. Well, that’s at least how Gidget spends it. So, why shouldn’t we model our days after our pets? Pets live in the moment and make the most of their time. As human beings, our goal should be the same. Make every day worth it, and have fun along the way.
  3. Be loyal and dependable — Since the very beginning, Gidget has always been by my side. She is a loyal and dependable furry friend to everyone. We can always count on her to give love, jump for her food and provide us with goofy moments. Being loyal and dependable is an important trait to have. Everyone needs someone they can count on and know they will be there for them, through thick and thin.
  4. Believe in yourself — Animals don’t care what others think and will do as they please. They are confident in what they do, whether it’s eating or playing with a toy. We should follow our pets’ actions by believing in ourselves and having confidence in our abilities.
  5. Always drink plenty of water — Okay, Gidget might not have many choices when it comes to beverages. However, water is always her to-go choice and should be ours, as well. We all know the proven health benefits of drinking plenty of H2O, so why aren’t we following them? To determine how much you should drink, go with the common 8×8 rule – eight, eight-ounce glasses daily.
  6. Follow your instincts — Every pet owner has probably seen their animals on an intense hunt for food. Trust me, when Gidget smells food, nothing stands in her way to find it. She also follows her instincts when it comes to sniffing out a new stranger in the house, looking for her family members or just finding that perfect napping spot on the sofa. Follow your gut instinct, whether it is about a person or situation. What thought pops into your head first is usually right — don’t second guess yourself.
  7. Always be happy to see your loved ones — From the beginning, Gidget has greeted us with a wagging tail and jumps of joy as we come through the front door. The excitement she has for seeing loved ones, whether they have been gone five minutes or five weeks, should be the excitement humans have; maybe not with the tail wagging but with lots of smiles and hugs.
  8. Love unconditionally — This life advice is my favorite. One of our family nicknames for Gidget is “our little bundle of love” because of all the love and kisses she gives us. Whether it is sitting next to us on the sofa, lying in her bed while we are in the kitchen or cheering us up when things go wrong, Gidget is always there. Loving others unconditionally is easy to do. It doesn’t require large gestures but simply small acts of kindness. Just being there for someone and supporting him or her can mean a difference. Love each other unconditionally, just like Gidget does.

xoxo,

Megan

Article originally written from Forsyth Woman Magazine.