Animals are incredible teachers. My animals have often taught me things that I knew in my head but could not bring into my heart. They were and are outstanding mirrors for people. My dog Tilly was an excellent example of this.
2018 and our animal welfare dog Tilly
Tilly came from Hungary and was already 9 years old when we adopted her. In 2018 she was 14 years old and had quite a few physical problems. She was deaf, had an enlarged heart, spondylosis, osteoarthritis, festering teeth (which we couldn’t operate on because of the enlarged heart), skin rash, and germs in her ear. We made sure she was not in pain and kept her system as stable as we could with natural medicine. So that because of her heart issues, she had a chance to eventually go to sleep on her own for good.
It had caused me in 2018 to look at time in a new way and REALLY live in the moment. Because it could be any moment, too. It was sheer miracle that she was still alive. And for that, I was immensely grateful.
In 2018, there were already four situations where I was sure she wouldn’t survive it and she proved me wrong every time. She didn’t want to go yet, always fighting and getting herself back up. Although I had long since given her permission to go when she wanted and not have to take me into consideration.
Her eyes were duller than before. Her joints were not as supple and hurt her. She had bad breath because of the festering teeth and walked much slower than she used to because of the heart disease. She had less strength than she used to have, so I often took very short walks so her joints and heart could keep up.
She slept more and snored louder. I had to let her out in the yard once or twice every night because she couldn’t hold it in as long. Some days I had to carry her out. Her hunger was unbroken, her irrepressible joy of life was unbroken. The love she showed me was unbroken.
What she taught me
I lived in the moment. I enjoyed every second as if it was our last second together. Because a part of me felt that we no longer had unlimited time! Time that I would have loved to hold on to and couldn’t. She will always be the first dog I had. And the best dog from a shelter that you can have if you don’t know anything about dogs.
Until her last breath, I danced with her, I cuddled with her, and I made every day special. We celebrated the seconds together. We made the most of the time we had left. We felt the time intensely. We ate things that stuck to our hips. Through her, I learned to live in the moment without fear and to enjoy the time. I knew that she was going to die only on one day, on all the other days before that she would alive. So I didn’t focus on that one day, I focused on all the other days with joy.