A couple of years ago I agreed to adopt an elderly dog. He was a little fat dachshund cross terrier of some description who had belonged to an elderly lady since puppyhood who had subsequently been moved to a nursing home.
The family of the lady didn’t want this dog, so I was asked and said ok. My girls wanted a dog and this little man needed a family.
He was a well-fed man. By well fed I mean overweight. I got him neutered to prevent him roaming and after a month or two of depression from missing his mumma he settled into life with kids.
I believe that old saying is quite true now. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but boy could Mr Bonz be a cunning old dog when it came to swiping cat biscuits! I remember catching him mid swipe having reached up high and carefully getting the little silver bowl of cat food and carefully trotting through the house carrying it perfectly level so as not to spill a morsel of those fishy crunchies by gripping the bowl with his mouth. He wasn’t a silly man that’s for sure.
Obviously with an older dog there would be some ingrained quirks. Yapping at anyone who entered the driveway – even us. Not listening when being instructed to hush. Sitting in MY chair, even when he had his own chair. Stealing cat food. Slightly, well majorly neurotic when he saw the broom, or anything near him, clanking noises and anything other than utter calm.
Laying on his back like an upside down turtle, sometimes getting stuck that way due to his weight problem – But boy did he have buckets of love to give. Buckets and buckets!
He loved to come in the car riding shotgun. Howling with my middle child (that was their special thing), compulsive eating if he could and the sweetest disposition a family of 4 females could ever ask for. He was our main man and he had won our hearts.
Adopting an elderly dog is a beautiful thing, you provide life and love and warmth to a being that gives back a zillion times over. But nothing can prepare you for the day the angels call your friend to the soft green fields in the sky. Nothing. Even though you knew this day would come sooner than you expected.
I asked myself if letting my children, Mr Bonza’s second ever family, comfort and be educated and prepared for the next couple of days was a wise move. Being 10, 12 and 17 I felt they were mature enough to face this by his side and strong together as a family. Death is shocking. It is hard. It is messy. It is part of life. This little bundle of furry love needed us now – all of us – more than ever.
As i sit here the day after Mr Bonza has left us feeling lost and a little lonely without him, I again questioned my choice. The Seven of Cups turned over for reflection on the lessons we can take from this sorrow and it tells me many things.
Choices are so many in life. We can never be certain which one is right. Each has it’s own consequences. But more than anything we must sometimes bring things into reality. And do this in a way that will help us grow and evolve.
There is emotion and heart at the core of the decision – and sometimes I feel this is glossed over in the card. 7’s are unstable. There is turmoil. So much happening in the 7 of Cups symbolised by each individual cup that it is difficult to make heads nor tails of things when we are so emotionally charged.
The cards connection to Scorpio shouts at me the most of our connection to death and the spirit world and crossing over. Reassuring that the confusion and uncertainty that this all brings is a necessary process of learning and accepting.
We will all treasure the love and experience of having Mr Bonz in our lives for the time he was gifted to us. Together we will work through the realities of death and letting go, and treasure being with him to comfort him as he passed into permanent ever after.
The care and responsibilities that come with being a pet caretaker are no light matter. There are many parts that are a bit icky and it’s a day in day out responsibility that the girls took on, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Even as a mother I have days where I feel reluctant to do what I must! The joy you gave us outweighed anything else by mountains my friend. Mr Bonz, you have taken a piece of our hearts with you little man. Thank you for choosing us to spend your last couple of years with, and thank you for allowing all of us to be with you when you left to be with your first mumma in the infinite universe. We will miss you and we treasure the reminder of how precious and fragile life is, and that reality is sometimes hard ! But how beautiful the in between moments are Xxxx