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my dog was a puppy when i adopted her and she is now 13. seeing as an "old dog" is causing me so much sadness. i can see some of her hearing starting to go, it has been this way for a while. she is not deaf, but her hearing is not as sharp as it once was. mentally i see some decline too. she used to be sharper. if i opened the car door, she knew what it meant. if i said, "do you want to go out" she was up and running. those things have changed and my heart is broken. i feel i have failed her somehow. i have never had alot of money but i wanted the best for her. in my heart and in my dreams i wanted a huge house she could run around in and i could chase her and have other doggies to be her sister and brother. i wanted a pool for her to swim in and a beautiful yard. instead of that i have had to live in small apartments and low income apts at that. i have tried to be loving to her. but i feel i have failed her by not providing her the things that money can buy. i have fed her the best of food and supplied her with toys and veterinary care. but seeing her age and be "old" now is making me feel i have let her down. she never got that house, or that pool or that yard. and when she was younger i was sure that someday i would have those things for her and it never happened. i get impatient with her sometimes when she isn't as on the ball. even annoyed. i don't abuse her though. never. and i feel guilty when i say "do you want to go out" and she just looks at me instead of barging for the door knocking me over. i feel guilty becuase sometimes i say, "ok then, stay there". i don't give her credit for aging. i act like she is being bad or something. no i don't hit her but i have cursed at her a couple of times in anger and feel terrible. i cursed at her when she was a puppy once and i still can't forget it. it was in front of people and that was so wrong. she has never been beaten or anything, or left alone to fend for herself. i just feel she may have had a happier life with maybe a married couple so she could have gotten twice the love. i have had health problems since i have had her and she has had to suffer along with me trying to get better. so i feel she could had a better life. i try to enjoy every day i have with her. i take her on walks but i can't always take her on the long walks we used to take. i take pictures of her too. but i keep looking at that old dog that was young not that long ago. and it makes me cry. i feel sorry for her. i feel sorry for her that she is not a puppy anymore and i have to face the fact that she isn't. i don't know what i am asking for or even saying. i just feel like she got cheated because she got stuck with a parent like me who has been sick and hasn't had much money. i feel so guilty. this is the first time for me, having a dog and seeing her through her whole life. is it normal to feel sad when you see them old and you had them when they were babies? i can remember all the stupid things she did as a "kid". i wish it was me who was going to someday go first instead of her and that she could live a long life and have lots of love. i don't mean to sound morbid. i want and always wanted the best for her and i blame myself that she didn't grow up in a big house with all the stuff that goes with it. i have had legal problems and stuff but have never given her away or abused her. i just feel she could have had a better life. but i will tell you this, if the measure of a good life is how much love is in a heart, i have had as much love for her as anyone. no one could have loved her more. thank you for listening.
 

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One of the best things about dogs is that they don't hold grudges and they love us unconditionally. You seem to feel a lot of sadness about what you are losing in the dog, but I think you should concentrate more on what you have gained from your relationship with her.

Everyone makes mistakes, gets annoyed, frustrated, even has moments where you just sit down and say, "that's it, I'm done." It's natural and I don't think there is one responsible dog owner out there who hasn't wondered if he/she has done the best they could for their furry friend.

Your dog isn't worried that she doesn't have a pool to swim in, that there aren't more people around to love her, that she didn't have a larger house to roam in; what she ultimately cares about is YOU. That's the wonderful thing about dogs.

She may be aging, and you may have to be more patient with her "slowness", but I don't think she regrets one part of her life with you and still doesn't to this very second. I think she values you as her leader and cares for you very much, and no matter what your money limit, would want no other gift than just to sit by your side.

Don't be so hard on yourself. It sounds like you have a wonderful dog who is having a wonderful life with a CARING OWNER. Don't worry so much about the past. Instead try to spend every moment you have left with this wonderful companion!
 

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Thank you K9Companions for your reply. I really, really mean that. I read it so carefully. I wish I had people to talk to about this. Thank gosh for the internet. Thank you so much for the things you said. I do have to be more patient with her. And I pray you are right about all the other stuff. Like I said, I had "plans" for her life that never happened. But the love part never changed. I just haven't been a perfect parent but I have not been an abusive one. I wanted to be the perfect dog "owner". And I guess it is that that I am referring to. I know I haven't been the perfect pet owner. I can only say this dog of mine has not suffered abuse. I wish I hadn't cursed at her the few times I have. But thank goodness i have never been one of those people who curse at their dogs and kick and beat them. I hit her once on her bottom and felt so bad. i honestly think that was the only time I did that and it was my fault. she did not deserve it. she was not doing anything wrong she was only acting like a dog and it was my impatience.
 

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Thank you K9Companions for your reply. I really, really mean that. I read it so carefully. I wish I had people to talk to about this. Thank gosh for the internet. Thank you so much for the things you said. I do have to be more patient with her. And I pray you are right about all the other stuff. Like I said, I had "plans" for her life that never happened. But the love part never changed. I just haven't been a perfect parent but I have not been an abusive one. I wanted to be the perfect dog "owner". And I guess it is that that I am referring to. I know I haven't been the perfect pet owner. I can only say this dog of mine has not suffered abuse. I wish I hadn't cursed at her the few times I have. But thank goodness i have never been one of those people who curse at their dogs and kick and beat them. I hit her once on her bottom and felt so bad. i honestly think that was the only time I did that and it was my fault. she did not deserve it. she was not doing anything wrong she was only acting like a dog and it was my impatience.
I understand. I think all of us want to be the perfect dog owner, the same as anyone wants to be a perfect parent. But truth be told, I don't think there is such a think as a perfect dog owner. That's alright, because dogs have been mans best friend through it all.

I live outside of Philadelphia, PA. A part of town that is rapidly going downhill, and with the declining economy, money has been even more tight than usual. I adopted a cattledog/shepherd mix from the pound and have owned him for a year now. He doesn't have a dog bed, so I put blankets of my own on the floor. I can't afford to buy him any more dog toys than his old, ratty rope, so I dug up some old childhood stuffed animal and gave it to him to play with. I use his dog food as little bite size treats, and play with him often because I'm the only play mate he has.

And he looks like the happiest dog on earth. I can not afford much for him, but he doesn't seem to think twice at night when hes curled up on my blankets next to my bed, or when hes playing tug of war with the little stuffed animal. He only seems to care that whatever I am doing, I'm doing with him. Have I ever lost my temper? YES, I have! One time I got home from a really bad day, and Hunter just WAS NOT listening, and I gave him a good wack on the nose. I felt like a fool and felt bad that I had hurt him.

That night, he lay next to me as usual on his blankets, and when I reached down to pat his nose, the same place I had smacked earlier, he licked my hand to death and fell fast asleep as I massaged his muzzle. I didn't have to ask him to forgive me, or to lie next to me that night. He just did.

I have only had him for year, but already he is teaching me so much. The ownership of a dog is a journey, a wonderful test of faith and love.

Most importantly you have to forgive yourself, because I can tell you with 100% certanty, that your girl has already forgiven and forgotten. The person standing in the way is yourself.

You sound like a wonderful person who wants the best for her best friend. That's all a person/dog can ask for.

It sounds like she has made a wonderful journey with you, and still has time! Don't take that lightly, because she probably has no idea that anything is wrong. If your with her, I'm sure shes happy. Sometimes the best therapy is to sit with your dog and watch as her tail wag, or to receive sticky, wet kisses if your unsuspecting face wanders too close, or even for her to silently look at you with intellegent, doggy eyes. Those are the moments when your dog is saying, "I love you too". Don't miss them.
 

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Thank you once again K9. You sound like a person with a beautiful soul. I would like to think everyone is like that but there really are people out there who do not go into the sensitive realm of things. They stop at a certain point. You have a beautiful soul. I just loved reading your reply again and look forward to reading other posts by you on the board. I thank you for sharing about yourself and your dog. When my dog was young I was a real newbie. She was still just a puppy. I was trying to teach her commands and something I had read in a dog training book. I didn't abuse her (and when I say that I mean abuse as in cruelty laws being broken, that is how I mean abuse) but I was grabbing her snout and doing some "trick" I had learned in a book about how to get your dog to listen and stuff like that. Stuff I would NEVER do now. And when she chewed up my shoe, I put bitter dog stuff on it and did what it said which was to bring it close to them to smell and even taste. Sort of put the item in their mouth with the awful taste. When I think that I did that now, I am ashamed of myself. My dog was a puppy and in her crate and here I am doing what I think a "real dog trainer" would have me dog. Stick the shoe with the dog bitters on it in her mouth. She looked so hurt and confused and I knew in my heart it was wrong and never did it again. So I made mistakes but all I can say is thank God I never was abusive to my dog. I grew up in a house where both parents were abusive. Yes, two for the price of one, haha! So I am ultra sensitive about animal abuse and especially to my own pets. I have two cats too but have not had the "same" bonding experience with them as I have had with my dog. I love them just the same and feel the same attachment and intimacy but my dog and I are closer because there is more communication between she and I. I love her more for that but I don't love her more than my cats if that makes sence. I love all my pets the same but for different reasons. Thanks for sharing about yourself. And your kind and insightful words.
 

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OMG. K9companions couldn't have said it better... I could almost cry right now... : (

First I'd like to echo that, you shouldn't blame yourself... Honestly... Dogs don't/won't/can't/know how, to hold a grudge... Granted *you* didn't get her a house and a backyard... But I can almost promise you that she wasn't pining for one either. ; ) She probably doesn't even realize what she missed out on, because in her eyes- She hasn't missed out on a single damn thing. : D

You sound like an amazing person, and an amazing "friend" to dogs... : )

Like K9companions said, don't dwell on the past... We all have things we regret not doing, but dogs don't... : )

I hope I didn't offend you or anyone else.
 

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My eyes are filling with tears reading your post because that is what I dread so much (well, there is one inevitable moment that I dread more, of course). Trust me, even if you were able to give your pup all the material things you think would have given her a happier life (in reality -- she's been so happy just to love and be loved by YOU!), the aging process would still be just as heartbreaking.

So, how to deal with it? Channel that sadness into even more affection for your pup. Spend some time every evening lying on the floor with her, petting her and kissing her and telling her how much you love her. She will appreciate that so much, knowing that you love her even though she can't run and play energetically like she could as a puppy.

Of the two dogs that I've lost in my life, I didn't do that with the first (my childhood dog)... it made me so sad to see her aging that I avoided her to evade that sad feeling. I regret that SO MUCH to this day. The second dog I lost, I spent his declining years (especially when it was clear that he only had a matter of days left) spending so much time on the floor with him, petting and kissing him... and even though I still miss him, I don't have the haunting regret I do about my first doggie. It makes me feel good that he had no doubt he was LOVED, even in (especially in) his declining years.
 

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K9 had some really magnificent points, I will only add that I have this wonderfull little girl that is sooo attached to me and now she is seven years old. Time goes bye so fast, all I want is to out live her because I am also growing old, I am her whole world and she lights up my world, that more and more, the materal things in life seem so unimportant!

In my heart, the most difficult thing for your beloved dog is having to go away from you the first person in her life, no matter how things were she wants to be with you to the end................... That is the greatest gift you can give your girl!!!!!
 

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mrsjohnny and deege, thank you sooooooo much. I am going to lay on the floor with her. tytytytytytytytytyty for sharing and your openess how you didn't do that with your first do but did with your second. Thank you. I too have avoided my dog because the pain of being around her saddens me so i feel like a knife is going through my chest. i haven't "totally" avoided her as we live in the same apt but i have kept myself busy instead of spending that time with her..on purpose keeping busy. and now i know why. ty!
((((mrsjohnny and deege))))
 
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