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My older dog Zoey, who is 12 years of age, gave me a tremendous scare over the weekend when she decided, quite out of the blue, to eat azalea leaves. This was apparently a ridiculous thing for her to do because these leaves are highly poisonous to dogs.

She nearly killed herself. She was drooling, vomiting, staggering, confused and utterly sick. Despite my best efforts, laying on the floor with her through the night, cleaning vomit and drool and holding her, there was simply no comforting her.

We did manage to get her to the emergency vet over the weekend and with the right medication and some fluids, she eventually came around.

After the crisis passed, it got me thinking about her and how much I value her and how even though she is 12 years old, I am not ready to let her go. And, that got me to thinking about how there just never seems like enough time to cherish the ones we love. This then made me feel maudlin, and that made me feel nostalgic.

I’ve lived a wonderful life. I’ve been blessed beyond what I deserve. I have no regrets. And even though I had a wistful moment of longing for more time, I also understand that whatever time we are given is the gift we must accept. We aren’t in control of time. It controls us.

The idea of the passing of time and what it means has been a common theme of my blog. My sarcoidosis nudged me pretty hard. It turned my world upside down but in the process, it also gave me a deep and abiding appreciation for life’s limits. Time is one of those limits.

Zoey’s near suicide, albeit accidental, was yet another example of the confines of time but more significantly, it was a reminder that nothing important to me should be taken for granted.

It is both a gift and a bit of a curse to recognize the boundaries of time, of the point beyond which things end. The gift in this understanding is a better appreciation for what is. The curse is a quiet sorrow of knowing that what it is, won’t be again.

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