I love being a pet sitter. I get to take care of a lot of different pets while providing a service to nice clients. I tend to develop a strong bond with the animals I care for, which makes it very hard for me when they become ill or pass on.
Since I’ve been pet sitting professionally for about five years now, I’ve seen quite a few pets in the final stages of their lives. One of the first was Artie, a dog with canine dementia. Artie would wander around the house and was incontinent frequently, but he had a sweet disposition so I didn’t mind taking care of him, and tried to give him the best care possible.
Then came Flax. Flax was a 17-year-old pit bull who had recently lost his sister. Each time I cared for him, he seemed to be showing his age more. He had arthritis and he really didn’t enjoy his walks because he was in pain. The last time I took care of Flax, it was obvious he was on his final legs. I had to call his family and ask them to come home early because I didn’t think he would make it until their scheduled return. They got home in time to say goodbye to Flax, which I know meant a lot to them.
Yoda is one of my favorite dogs. She is a Shiba Inu who is about 15 now. I’ve been caring for her for about 3½ years and she is now showing her age. She is deaf and has kidney disease. This hasn’t slowed her down before, but now she is having difficulty jumping on the bed or couch, and she can only handle short walks. She is on a special diet and takes Pepcid for stomach problems. Each time I care for her now, I’m afraid it may be my last, so I make sure to tell her how much I care for her.
You would think after going through this many times, with my own pets and with my clients, losing a pet would become easier for me. But it doesn’t. Each pet has a special place in my heart and I feel the loss when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge.