I’ve always mostly been a “live for today” or “one day at a time” person. I’m not always big into birthday or anniversary celebrations, or certain holidays like Valentine’s Day. I feel like every day should be a celebration of love and life. I tell my hubby I love him every day and from time to time we give each other gifts for no reason other than that. Sometimes we’ll celebrate birthdays and our anniversary, but not always. I find some of these made up days like “Spoil Your Pet Day” or “Love Your Pet Day” to be kind of silly (though I see nothing wrong if other people want to celebrate them). My pets are loved and spoiled every day, and we celebrate their lives every day, not just on their birthdays. It’s fun to do special things on those days sometimes, but mostly I don’t feel the need. They get toys, treats, love, and fun every day.
Along the same lines, Sheba’s recent cancer scare had me thinking about bucket lists. I wondered if I should make a list of things that Sheba might like to do. Right now, she is doing great and I certainly don’t feel any urgency in that department. It’s easier to put out of my mind that her cancer could come back in the form of another tumor, or show up elsewhere, now that she has healed from her surgery and her fur is slowly growing back. We can’t get complacent though, we have to keep a close eye on that area for any signs that the cancer was not all removed.
However, shouldn’t we be living life to the fullest, and doing new and fun things every day anyway? Especially since both Cricket and Sheba are over 10 years old now, of course we should. It’s easy though to get caught up in every day obligations, like jobs, taking care of homes, and family commitments, and to forget to take some time to just relax and have some fun with the pets. That’s why I think some of these special days and things like bucket lists are a good idea. Even though we may not celebrate especially on those days, or follow a bucket list to the letter, they serve as great reminders not to get too caught up in the drudgery of every day life, but take time to “smell the roses”.
In that spirit, I decided I would write Sheba a bucket list, just as a guideline and a place to go when I need a reminder of something fun we wanted to do. One of the first things I thought of was taking her to the ocean. None of our dogs have ever been there but I’ve seen other dogs there and doesn’t it look like fun for them? Our seacoast is about 2 1/2 hours away and that’s where I ran into trouble with that idea (along with the fact that our beaches aren’t especially dog friendly). Neither Sheba or Cricket like to ride in the car. Sheba is a bit better than Cricket….she lies quietly in the back just looking miserable while Cricket fidgets around and shakes like a leaf.
I know this is our fault. When they were younger, we took them more places, but as we’ve gotten older and for a while having four dogs, we stopped doing that so much. My hubby and I are homebodies, and we’ve never traveled far with the pets. We’re not even travelers ourselves, we might take a vacation every few years or so, but each time we do they get shorter and shorter. The times we went away on fun trips to Daytona and Texas, we enjoyed them immensely, but I was also very homesick towards the end of each trip. We used to camp years ago, but it wasn’t long before we had parked our camper at one campground and made that into our second home. That was before Sheba and Cricket though.
I’m going way out of my comfort zone going to the BlogPaws conference in May. I know I won’t regret it for a minute, but it’s difficult, and that makes me wonder if it would be good or bad for Sheba to take her out of her comfort zone by taking her for a long ride in the car. So I tabled the ocean for now and decided it might be better to try to take her to someplace closer like perhaps a cabin on a lake where she could do lots of swimming. So that is first on our list, and here’s the other things I came up with and a little about each. Many things on this list will be for Cricket and Luke as well, but they are not very social dogs so some might not be possible for them.
Sheba’s Bucket List:
- Stay overnight at a lake cabin with lots of swimming.
- Go for a ride to get ice cream (yes, we are the worst pet parents in the world because we have never done this).
- Go apple picking in the fall (we did this with Kobi when he got older and he loved it, and I have the best memories of that trip).
- Get a special drawing done of her.
- Lots of walks and even some easier hikes (with her arthritis we avoid steep hikes). Lots of swimming too!
- New toys to de-stuff (I just wish I could find a stuffed toy that did not have a squeaker in it, because I worry about her or Luke swallowing one of those).
- Dress up for Halloween. I didn’t think she would like to do this, but she took to wearing that sweater so well I think she might be OK with it.
- Get a massage. I’d like to learn how to give a massage to the dogs myself, and I’m not sure if anyone in our area does this but I’m going to find out.
- She wants a real swimming pool that she can swim in! Yes, the Momz has been wanting a pool for herself and them too, but whenever I bring the subject up to the Dadz I get a very negative response. But last night I brought it up and he didn’t shoot me down immediately! We recently cleared an area of our yard where we could possibly put one, but honestly, I’m not sure we can afford one. We’ll see.
The bottom line here is that we need to live each day to the fullest. As much as we hate to think it, each day could be our last. We lost our Lab mix Maggie to a tragic accident when she was only 5 years old, so we know only too well that you just never know. Sheba is a happy dog, she loves her home, and she’d probably be just as happy to just keep living her life exactly as it is…..playing ball, playing with her siblings, and taking nice walks one-on-one with Mom. We are lucky to have a very large play yard for the dogs, and we all love it. We’ll keep doing all of those things of course, and try to throw in a few of these different fun things too.
Do you have a bucket list for your older or terminally ill pet, or do you just strive to live each day as it comes and make the most of it?