The week of the PATH Intl. annual meeting and conference, our dog Morgan gave us quite a scare. All of a sudden, her back legs wouldn't support her, and she couldn't navigate stairs to go up to bed or the dog door when she needed to go outside. We rushed her to the vet where she was diagnosed with...getting old. Morgan is 18 years old, 96 in human years according to the vet. She'd been losing her sight and her hearing. Weak muscles were just a new addition.
Happily, Morgan regained enough of her muscle strength back within a few days, so that she could resume her daily walks and navigate the one step into the backyard to take care of business. However, she is still unable to navigate more than one step, which includes an inability to navigate the dog door. This has led to the decision to move our bedroom into the living room for the foreseeable future so that she is still sleeping in the same room with us (which she has done with me for 16 years) and so we can let her out in the middle of the night if nature calls.
I imagine some of you reading this think we're a little crazy. But I suspect there are just as many (if not more) of you who completely understand why we would make this decision in order to ensure her continued health and happiness. I am sure many of you reading this have spent the night in a barn to care for a horse, built a ramp for an aging dog, tolerated the shredding of the newspaper or shoes from a puppy or created a safe space for a cat and stayed up all night to make sure they were okay. Many of you have your own stories of what you did to make sure the animal(s) in your life continue to be happy and healthy.
I see this kind of passion and care for others demonstrated by members each and every day. You show it through the care of the participants and the equines and everyone involved or touched by the work you do. You show it in your supportive interaction with colleagues, as witnessed at the PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting. You show it through your membership to PATH Intl., every time you vote, give standards feedback or volunteer for the good of the entire industry.
This holiday season, I wish happiness and health for you and all of the two- and four-legged creatures in your world.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,