Your best friend has cancer. The day you heard those words was probably one of the worst days of your life and you probably still can’t believe that it’s true.
I know that’s how I felt when my dog was dying of cancer.
I didn’t know how to cope with it. Every time I looked at my dog, I would just melt into tears. I hugged her and cried all over her. I am sure that she thought I was a complete crazy lady but at the same time, she didn’t care about that. Her little chin just rested on my shoulder and her little tail wagged just like it did every day.
I hated that this was happening to my little girl.
I wished I’d had some better tools to cope with the fact that my dog had cancer. And now that I know some, I want to share them with you.
1. Get Out Your Anger
I kept all of my anger inside. I obviously didn’t want my dog to see me angry or upset because I know that they can sense emotions. But my anger plagued me and it crowded my mind and it wasn’t healthy for me or my family.
The best thing to do is get your anger out in a healthy way. Have lunch with your best friend and vent. Get to the gym and take it out on the treadmill or punching bag. Write it down. Heck, write a mean and nasty letter to cancer. Obviously, don’t take it out on anybody but if you get it all out, you have the opportunity to be come calm and centered and present. Then you can be there for your dog and make better decisions.
2. Massage Your Dog
Yes, that might sound stupid. However, you pet your dog all of the time (or at least you should) so what’s the difference? Massaging your dog helps you tell them that you love them. Dogs massage with their tongues; they lick each other when they’re in packs and they lick you. It’s their way of saying “I love you.”
Now, I’m not going to tell you to lick your dog if you thought that’s where this was going. But using repetitive, circular motions with your fingertips will do wonders for your dog. Just light pressure is needed and you can focus on all of the dogs muscles. You know your dog best, so stay in tune with him – he’ll show you what he likes and doesn’t like.
3. Thank Your Dog
This may sound silly, but show gratitude to your dog. Sit down with your dog and tell her why she is so wonderful. Thank her for being your best friend, your loyal companion, the protector of your house. She’s the one who has greeted you each and every day with unwavering love. Now it’s your turn to do the same.
Get past the silliness of it and just let it flow. Shower her with gratitude. You’ll both feel so good after.
4. Stimulate Your Dog
Vary the routine up a bit. Take a different walking route. Try a different treat or a new reward for a dog well done. Show them a new trick to try and work for. Go to a new dog park or hiking trail. Obviously, you’re going to base these things on how well your dog is but the point is to create some new experiences for your dog. He’s still got life left in him, why not try to keep celebrating life? Praise him for doing so well.
5. Spoil Your Dog Day
Once a week, spoil your dog. Treats for no reason. Extra love and hugs. Let her up on the couch or the bed if they usually aren’t allowed there. These things will make your dog so happy and it will be huge step in coping with all of the feelings you’re having. Why not spoil your dog? He definitely deserves it.
I hope these five tips can help you, at least in a small way, work through your dog’s cancer diagnosis.