Pets are downright amazing — they’re affectionate and loving, they give us bright and warm feelings, they understand us without words, and they can teach us a thing or 2 about friendship. But sadly, our 4-legged companions have a lifespan that is too short. Try to keep this in mind next time you feel annoyed by your cat demanding ’too much’ attention, or decide to put off going to the park with your dog. Remember to treasure every moment with your pets — they won’t be around forever!
28-year-old Jessika Coker perfectly described this feeling in a Facebook post she made in 2019. And it still hasn’t faded away into Internet oblivion, having received over 121K reactions and 113K shares. And something tells me it never will — Jessika’s words captured the ever-relevant hardships of dealing with the passing of time and serving as a reminder to cherish the moments we still have.
“My dog Moose is growing older and I’ve noticed him start to slow down,” Jessika told Bored Panda. “As he was laying in bed with me one night, I began to cry thinking about how much my life would change without him. He has been like a shadow to me. Something you don’t notice every moment, but is always quietly there on your heels.”
“He has been with me my entire adult life. When I was learning how to be alone, he was there so I didn’t have to be. When writing down my thoughts, the words just flowed out of me as I truly do cherish him and everything he has gone through with me over the years. It seems odd to think that there will be a time that he will not be there for a major event in my life as he has been for all of the others.”
Moose just turned 10 but Jessika met him when he was just a pup. “I got him the day I graduated high school. I found him at a vet’s office I had been volunteering for. He was brought in and surrendered with all of his brothers and sisters and he just pulled at my heart. He was the only puppy that cared to come to me and when I would put him back with his siblings, he would cry wanting to come back out with me.”
Jessika still remembers being on her senior trip and unlike most of the other kids in her class, she was ready to go home just so that she could see her little puppy. “Moose has always been a calm spirit. He is almost like a quiet guardian of our home,” she explained. “He is the most gentle dog I have ever met and as the years with him progressed, I began to bring more animals home as it slowly turned into a wildlife sanctuary. He has become a rock for all of the animals who are shy and scared. They bond with him and as long as he is around, they have the confidence to do as they please instead of hiding in fear.”
After reading Jessika’s post, people started relating to her by sharing similar stories of their own
Gentry McGuire – “My Sofia will be 17 on Sat. You don’t realize that there will be so many lasts-last walks, last time she’s able to walk up the stairs, or jump off the couch. We adapt but watching her hurt, seeing her personality fade. It’s so hard. I appreciate every day I have with her.”
Cara Zellers – “A Saint Bernards life expectancy is 8 to 10 years. Belle is almost 12 every day with her is a blessing! She had surgery 4 years ago and they told me she maybe had a year left! I cherish every moment with my girl!”
The woman’s love for animals began when she was growing up outside a town in Georgia. Jessika rarely had other kids around to play with, so she spent most of her time in the woods and with her family dogs.
“When I moved to Florida a few years ago, I didn’t know anyone and it felt like my childhood all over again where my dog was my constant companion,” Jessika said.
Jessika shared her thoughts on Moose getting old on Juniper Fox, a page dedicated to Juniper, Fig, and Elmwood — three North American red foxes living out their lives in a home full of rescued exotics. “They were each born in captivity and are descended from fur-farm foxes. Because of their genetic differences from their wild counterparts, they cannot be released into the wild, but live happy, full lives with their loving adoptive family and their doggo brothers.” She said people reacted to the post by telling her that they had a similar experience, that they did not know what they would do when their senior dog passes.
“I think most of us who have had pets know the feeling. We all explore the thought that one day they will not be with us and that we will have to bear that grief. My post was meant to be a reminder that each day with them is special because we never know how few of those days we truly have,” Jessika said.
Kama Stine Bennett – “Fletcher was by my side through 3 homes, 3 other dogs, my wedding, deaths of dear friends and family members, a human brother, and every anxiety attack that ever crossed through my body. We said our final goodbye April 2018. He was 18. I miss him so much.”
Jessica Ring – “My soul mate… she made it 14 years and passed away last June. My life hasn’t been the same since. I’ll love you forever Sango”
Vicki Cantrell – “Absolutely correct. Chappy is 13.5 and now totally deaf. I’m so glad I taught him hand signals along with voice. He understands things anyhow. Almost instinctively knows what I want and i know what he wants because so many things became routine for him. If I spin around, he knows it’s dance time. Don’t even want to imagine life without him. He’s traveled around the country with me, went to college with me, and most recently licks the tears from my face that I shed from losing my son and snuggles with me. They are a great comforter. They are special!!”
Trudy Gaughran – “My grand dog, Rocky, passed away this morning. He was a shelter rescue in Michigan and the sweetest little guy. We are all heartbroken”
Nicky Merkel – “My Harley. Got him as a rescue when he was 1. Just turned 12. He’s doing pretty good for an a old man. But, we know he only has a few more years, so we’re making the best of it.”
Shasta Kalin – “My old lady just turned 17, and I could swear I just got her a couple of years ago. The years…they go fast. She’s seen me through relationships, apartments, our house (which I bought so she could have a yard) and everything from my late twenties to mid-forties. I don’t know what my life will look like when she’s gone, but until then, I’m loving her pretty hard”
Sharon Stacey – ” This is my Hank. I don’t know exactly how old he is because he was a middle of the road rescue. He was starved and abused to the point that my vet said the best he could do age-wise was a guess. He’s somewhere between 4 and 8 years old. I saved him a few months after my husband died. He’s been saving me ever since. I’ll be his mom 3 and a half years this June. I hope they’ve been the best years of his life”
Elyse Elizabeth – “The best part of my life. They have been by my side for 10 years and I hope to be blessed with many more”
Iris Ralston – “Our sweet Monty passed away two weeks ago. He gave us 15 years of happy love and we did love on him every day, knowing his time with us would always be too short”
Lauren Brewer – “15-year-old Bailey. It’ll break my heart when he is no longer here”
Kerrie Mitchener McDevitt – “My ride or die girl almost 2 years post-cancer-diagnosis and so thankful she’s still by my side.”
Rachelle Cardinal – “This was Roxy on her last day. She was surrounded by her pack. It’s wild to me how dogs just know when it’s the end. She was 15 died two weeks ago.”
Kim Doyle – “Oh my heart Sadie will be 12 this year and I cherish every day I have left her”
Stephanie Pitts – “Our first baby, she’ll be 10 in a few weeks. She picked my husband all those years ago. She has dementia and forgets where she is and who we are sometimes but she still gives great snuggles”
Annika Nitsch – “The love of my life, my little shadow and second heartbeat 14 years old and 12 years by my side. Without him I’m unperfect”
Megan Kemler “It’s true. This girl turned 9 years old last month. I adopted her as a 7-week old puppy when my firstborn was 4 months old and my husband was deployed. She’s been by my side more than anyone else, literally. She’s having mobility issues now due to hip dysplasia and arthritis and it absolutely kills me to think she won’t be around much longer.”
Alex Morris – “Bailey (Bails) was rescued from an abusive household. She was the first dog i ever had and a surprise birthday present from my dad. She was so gentle and kept to herself most of the time til i brought milo (rescue pup) home and I got to see her be a puppy with him. I have her to thank for shaping milo into the pup he is today. The day she passed away, milo mooped and whined the entire day. We both miss her so much. It’ll be 2 years this April”
Aireal Danyus – “This touches right on spot. 11 years before I can blink. Love my old lady. House won’t be the same without her”
Danielle Brown – “Andre will be 16 years old in April and I’ve had him since I was 15. This really touched me because I’ve had him now for half of my life and he’s been there with me before, during and after everything and everyone. I know that day is coming and that I’ll never be full ready for it but I’m so thankful for how he always stayed by my side and loved me through it all”
Amanda Pitman – “Love this. Could not be more true. This is my 12 year old baby, Belle. Just found out that she has a lung tumor, so I am cherishing every day!”
Judy Alkema Komenovich – “My baby girl lived almost 14 1/2 years. I miss her every day.”
Christal Barrett Woodward – “I miss my Basset Hound Chelsea so much. She passed away a year ago this month from dementia. She was my life”
Robin Jinkins – “11 in June. Been there by my side through so many things. He got sick a few months ago and gave us a scare. I love having so many years with him but hate watching him age. He needs a pause button. He’s a forever dog. I don’t want to ever have to say goodbye”
Steve Jones – “This rings so true to me, I lost my gorgeous lab maxi nearly a year ago to the day. I’m so lucky to have a fantastic back girl in my life who lets me share in time with her gorgeous hound too.”
Danielle Sparks – “My poor baby girl is coming up on 15 yrs now and I havent got to see her in 2 yrs last I saw her she was starting to go blind and was having a hard time getting around my dad’s yard sadly I’m just waiting g to hear them tell me she passed. My older lab Sam passed away 2 years ago after 15 yrs of being in my life. I miss them both dearly”
Lauren Hodgson – “My Lucy girl. She is 7. She was my first baby before my human ones I dread her last day.”
Ty Veri – “This one will be eight in May. Had her since she was weeks old, not ready for her to get old! She is absolutely family and her and her little sister are very loved”
Trina Dodge – “And once you’ve lost your heart dog you’ll never be the same. You’ll never feel the same pure joy with your other pets. Because the memory of what it feels like to lose them will always be in the back of your mind”