I've suspected this could be my last year with you since January. You're slowing down even more than usual. You have some impressive cataracts, you stumble when you walk sometimes, and other issues are getting worse. And my worries were essentially confirmed through the pet communicator I asked for help, because you told me through her, "No heroics. Seventeen is a good age."
So I'm gonna respect your wishes, big guy. I'll keep you fed and hydrated, keep you medicated and given supplements, and cuddle you every chance I get. And when the time comes, when you tell me you're ready to go, I just hope I get the message loud and clear, so I don't hold on too long and make you miserable.
I saved your life once when your thyroid needed to be nuked. In turn, you became my heart-healer, my sanity-keeper, my life-saver, the only reason I'd come home sometimes. I dearly wish I could save you again, but realistically, that's not possible. I'm grateful, so grateful, for all the time we've had together, and I truly, dearly hope I've made you as happy as you've made me.
But then, I must have, because you also told me "I love you."
I love you too. Thank you so, so very much for everything.