Wednesday, August 24, 2011
In the previous post, I wrote a bit about living a life with no regrets vs living a life full of regrets. Although I didn't have any misconception that I had thoroughly explored this issue, I had said what I thought and intended to move on. Apparantly the discussion was not over in my house. I was sitting in the den recently and Rags (pictured above) was lying on the sofa on his back, as he's prone to do these days. He looked over at me and said, "I have some regrets."
OK, maybe he didn't say it out loud but after more than 12 years together, Rags and I have learned to communicate on another level.
"What kind of regrets?" I responded.
"I regret having lived the first 12 years of my life as a dog," he said wistfully.
"As opposed to what?" I asked.
"A Prince, of course," he sighed.
The last year has been tough for Rags. I wrote about it in an earlier post here but since that time our vet discovered that he has a baseball-size tumor on his spleen that's likely to be malignant. Because he's already has a couple of bleeds from the tumor, that has caused the cancer to spread and surgery to remove the tumor would not solve the problem. We decided just to keep him comfortable and let the disease run it's course until it's apparent that he's in pain. We've done everything we can to provide him a good quality of life in his remaining time. He stays inside almost all the time during these hot summer months, eats the best food, and is generally pampered.
"So what makes you think you're a Prince," I inquired, wondering how he came to that conclusion.
Giving me one of those Well, duh looks, he said, "I dunno . . . maybe it's that now you feed me sliced turkey why I lie here on the sofa and you buy me a pricey canned food from the vet that's the dog food equivalent of caviar? When did you ever feed me that kind of stuff before the last month? And maybe it's also because I spend all day in the air-conditioned house while the other dogs are outside in the sweltering heat?"
"Well, OK. I didn't do that before but that's because you're a dog and you weren't dying before" I replied.
"Correction . . . I was a dog, now that I'm being hand-fed sliced turkey while lying on the sofa, I'm a Prince," he responded. "And for the record, we're all dying. What a waste of time; I should have been a Prince the whole time."
"Hold on there buddy! You've lived a good life. You've slept in my bed and eaten food from my table. I've even shared my Blue Bell ice cream with you. I've taken you to the beach and the mountains with me on vacation. Your life has not been so tough."
"OK, I'll concede that it could have been worse," he said, "but this last few weeks have definitely been an improvement."
"I guess you're right . . . life sometimes has regrets," I replied. " Would you like some more sliced turkey, your highness?"