I have a lot of guilt about this one.
My husband and I adopted our dog from a rescue the year we got engaged, and he was our first baby. We would rush home to let him out and feed him, he slept in our room with us, and we would take him to all our family gatherings.
Plenty of people warned me that when we had kids, our dog would likely be neglected. I didn’t believe them – why would someone neglect a dog? They weren’t even that much work. You love on them, walk them, feed them, let them out. I said I would never let that happen to our sweet dog.
Fast forward about 12 years later. We have a 4 1/2 year old and a 14 month old, and our lives have completely changed. Our kids naturally take up all of our waking hours, and we find ourselves asking each other before bed “did you feed the dog?” I’m not saying we ignore him – he usually accompanies us out on our walks and playtime in the backyard and hangs out with us wherever we are in the house. But I can admit he has taken a back seat….and sometimes I look at him and wonder if he actually, in a doggy sort of way, feels sad.
He’s getting older…he can’t really hear anymore and he’s moving a little slower. So I find myself hoping that we have given him a good life, even if he doesn’t get as much attention as he used to. I dread the day he passes and I’m sure I’ll have some regrets.