My sweet Rigby turned ten at the beginning of December.
This girl has been slowing down these last few years. She still has flashes of the crazy puppy who liked to play tug of war with socks, open jars of peanut butter, and hump her stuffed eagle, but she mostly lives a life of leisure. She lies on the couch, on my lap, or at my feet 95% of the time, and that’s where she’s happiest.
The last few months have been a bit difficult for Rigby. Ever since her bladder surgery five years ago, she’s been on a strict diet that forbids human food. We used to be able to give her the occasional treat or scrambled egg, but lately she can’t tolerate anything other than her prescription food. This is very hard for James because the foundation of his relationship with Rigby is based on their mutual love of him throwing his food at her (we still, of course, do everything we can to prevent this).
When Rigby eats food she shouldn’t, it sends her into digestive distress. It breaks my heart. She shakes, can’t get comfortable, and just wants to cuddle. I am always happy to oblige, because that dog comforted me through the hardest times of my life.
I was so elated when, ten years ago, I was able to make my life-long dream of having a dog come true. Rigby has been an amazing little pal. She’s tolerant and loyal, and she loves me sooooo much. She imprinted on me when we brought her home, and I’ve tried to live up to that responsibility. I hate when her stomach hurts her because, as she shakes in pain, she looks at me with her big eyes and I can almost hear her beg me to make it better (at this point, only time makes it better).
Rigby growing older makes me so emotional. I can’t imagine my life without my constant companion. She follows me wherever I go, and is always the first to greet me at the door when I come home. I’ve cried into her fur and kissed her with happiness. She loves my babies (okay, mostly tolerates them), and they adore her. I worry that as she gets older, her intestinal issues will progress…I let my imagination run away with me. I know that time is marching on, but I’m just not ready. I don’t think I’ll ever be.