January 17, 2015
If we are very, very fortunate old age comes to us all. It should be our reward for living a long and useful life. Many of the older folks I know worry about being a burden to those they love. Old folks - get the hell over yourself. You're not a burden.
These days I'm dealing with an old dog. He's not a burden, either. We're facing the challenges as they come but it's worth the effort. HE'S worth the effort. The old guy brings me joy every day.
When he was young, he taught me how to put my shoes in the closet every time I took them off. Bedroom slippers, too. You know that's a good habit to form. He taught me how to make a perfect Frisbee toss and that a little peanut butter on a Meaty Bone is just the thing after a bath.
We don't go for long walks these days. His poor, arthritic feet can't tolerate much walking. But he'll sometimes prance a bit for a biscuit which reassures me the good days are at least equally as frequent as the bad days.
I know the day is coming when I'll make that final hard decision for him. And it will be FOR HIM and not for me. If it were for me, I'd never let him go. I'd do whatever necessary to keep him with me, but maybe that wouldn't be fair to him. Dogs are so very courageous and he'd suffer through anything and everything to please me. I can't ask that suffering of him.
I'll get up in the night when he barks and let him out, make sure he gets a baby aspirin, buy special and expensive dog food, haul his black ass to the vet once a month for a doggie pedicure, and vacuum up a copious amount of fur every day.
I knew when I got my little black puppy with the odd-for-his-breed white toes he'd bring a lot to my life. He certainly has. He's been a constant in my life for thirteen years.
So here's to the Old Dog. Long may you dream of past glories.