Those of you who own dogs have probably faced this situation and will understand my feelings.
My beloved Shelties are getting old. Ed, our senior partner, has been with us most of the time we’ve lived in this house and for almost 1/2 of our married life. He has always been the “stealthy” dog in the house, able to sneak up on anyone if he chose to do so. Quiet, soft of foot, downright sneaky.
But something changed last summer. He lost a step on us. We’re all getting old, but Ed’s getting old a bit faster than the rest of us at this point. I don’t know if he had a small stroke that changed his gait, if he twisted a paw and changed his footing, or if the arthritis just caught up with him. But that silent stalker of bunnies is now walking with a hitch in his stride. He looks like me before the knee surgery.
He’s still young at heart with bright eyes and sense of whimsy. Yes, whimsy. Shelties are near the top of the dog world for their brains and he’s got more than most. But he sleeps
more than ever. And he’s almost completely deaf. And…
Well. No words really come to mind that do him justice as a friend. I’ve had the honor of living with members of the canine family since before I can remember and he’s my biggest buddy. Even more than the dogs of my youth, because Ed and I are growing old together. I’ll probably outlast him and that makes me a little bit sad this morning.
We all ponder our mortality, but only pet owners are responsible for the mortality of their charges. I hope I can do the right things at the right time so my friend doesn’t suffer any real pain in his life. He’s counting on me to be the responsible one in the pack. Little does he know that he’s probably got more common sense than I ever will.
But right now he’s snoozing on the rug with his partner, Maisie. She’s almost as old and even more infirm. The time’s coming and I’m not relishing it at all. But I will do my best to honor them and thank God for the gift of their company all these years.
Gotta go, this darn screen is hard to read and I need to lay on the rug and rub a muzzle or two before I go to bed.