Getting Older – Dog Yoga


One of the most important things I’ve ever done is become a pet owner. I rescued Dakota when she was six. That was eight years ago. 
You know intellectually that dogs get older and will eventually die. In practice it fucking sucks. Dakota has been struggling and while it seems that she’s not going to die tomorrow, I’ve got to start thinking about those hard decisions pet owners must think about. 

When is the right time to put her to sleep? Will I be able to tell? What if it’s too soon? Or worse what if I prolong her suffering. 



Surprisingly (or not), my yoga practice has been a great comfort and useful. I’ve been more open than I usually am about my feelings of sadness and grief. I’ve talked about how I feel so bad for my dog losing control of her bladder and frustrated at cleaning up what seems to be an endless amount of pee. But by sharing I’ve had an outpouring of support, love and practical suggestions that have helped make both our lives more comfortable. 
My asana practice has been a place that I allow myself to both let it all hang out and nurture my spirit (Special shout out to Angela Rauscher and Kaity Shanks for being my rocks the other day). 
Daily sits have been challenging and relaxing depending upon how I slept. Mostly though, I’m in the moment. Dakota may not be able to understand how much her companionship means to me but she will be given so much love (endless treats and cheeseburgers) until it’s time for her to transition. It’s the best I can do and in my heart I know it’s enough. 
This post is for the pet owners out there. 
 I made myself a snowball

As perfect as can be.

I thought I’d keep it as a pet,

And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas

And a pillow for it’s head.

Then last night it ran away,

But first – It wet the bed.

– Shel Silverstein 

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One thought on “Getting Older – Dog Yoga

  1. Two years ago I was going through the exact same situation. A friend paid for an energy worker to come in & work on or dog Maui. I was skeptical about the whole energy thing. Not only did his physical condition improve for 2 days, but I received a peace about knowing when we would know the right time to let him go. Watching her work, seeing Maui’s reaction & the release of my feelings was a beautiful experience. The healer was right, we absolutely knew when the time had come & Maui went peacefully into the Lord’s hands.
    I pray you will experience a peace about your dear loved one.
    I enjoy your writing & you encourage me as I go into a women’s prison each week to teach yoga.
    Namaste,
    Michelle

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