Welcoming an animal companion into your home is not an easy decision to make. You have to be serious about it in the long run, and have to consider whether you are ready for the responsibility or not to take care of another living, breathing being.

Brittany Tarkington, a best-selling author from East Texas, shared the bittersweet journey of caring for her dog of 12 years, Winnie in a Facebook post.

“Before you get that cute, full of life, puppy, imagine yourself 10+ years from now,” she wrote. “If your vision doesn’t involve throwing on a swimsuit to get in bathtub with your senior citizen dog because she’s having a bad day and scared, don’t do it.”

(Photo by Brittany Tarkington)

“If you can’t imagine cleaning up after them while they’re sick, don’t do it. If you laugh at the though of a person cooking meals JUST to make their fur child eat, don’t do it.

“If you wouldn’t stay up all night, just to make sure they’re still breathing and have all they need, don’t do it. If you can’t fathom the decision I’ll have to make soon, don’t do it.

“She wasn’t always this grumpy old lady with demands. 12 years ago, she was a puppy and I was in high school. She was hyper, healthy, and full of life. It wasn’t always like this. If you can’t handle end of life, don’t do it,” she said.

In an interview with Bored Panda, Tarkington shared that she first wanted a Chihuahua back in highschool. But she found an ad in her local paper, noting a six-month-old Jack Russell mix who did not get along with the new dog.

When they went to get Winnie, Tarkington said the dog immediately ran to their car and stayed on her lap the whole way. Since then, Winnie never left her side. She graduated from high school, college, had a baby, moved into her new home, got married, and had more animal companions. In all those, Winnie was always there.

Soon, after 12 and a half years together, Winnie has become a fragile senior dog who always need help. Tarkington realized how hard it must have been for many senior animals who were abandoned by their owners.

“There are too many senior dogs in shelters. Rather, it’s because of costs or that they can’t stand to see their pets age, too many people give up on their senior dogs,” she said.

This is why she made her post, to remind those who wish to adopt a companion animal to be ready and prepared for all the good and bad things in their dog’s lifetime. If you’re not ready for that, you might want to reconsider and spare the pup’s life of the hardships of being abandoned when they’re no longer active and cute as a puppy.

You might want to read:
– Senior dogs are pawsome! Here’s why you should open your heart to an older pooch
– Man visits shelters and adopts senior dogs no one else wanted
– Couple customizes house for 20 senior and special needs dogs