My feelings have been hurt for a couple of weeks now.
Max, my 14 year old cocker, is my life. He has helped me through some pretty bad times. When I was recovering from surgery to have my right inner ear removed he stayed by my side 24 hours a day even though I had to crawl for the first two weeks that I was home (I had to learn to balance with only one inner ear).
Well, for a couple of weeks now, when I would go to tousle his little top knot, he would shy away from my hand for a moment. It was really like he was afraid I was going to strike him. Since he has never been hit in his life I was wondering what it was that I could have done.
Then yesterday I was looking deep into his eyes (yes, I do that) and I realized something. Although his eyes have been cloudy with age for some time now I suddenly saw just how bad they really are. So now I move more slowly when I go to pet him on the top of his head and he has no problem. I feel bad, thinking that I was scaring him. My heart hurts knowing that he is going blind. I knew it would probably come as he got older but this is a lot for me to handle. I suffer from major depressive disorder and anxiety and he helps me with dealing with going outside and when I have panic attacks.
He is already going deaf. He no longer hears a soft knock at the door like he used to. I have been around older cocker spaniels before, so I knew this would be a part of his aging. But realizing his blindness in a flash like I did has left me so sad. It makes me love him even more, if that is possible, as now I realize that he will need me to be more careful with him.
That dog bed was the best $36.00 I ever spent! I miss him snuggling on the couch with me but he would no longer jump up by himself and, once I helped him up, I was afraid of him hurting himself by jumping down.
I will try to push the knowledge of his mortality out of my mind until it must be faced. I should still have a few years with him and I need to concentrate on making his life easier in his old age. He has been there for me, now it is my turn to be there for him.