Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Old Dog Blog

Doogie's like an old car that's been driven hundreds of thousands of miles. Parts of him may fail along the way, but the old guy just keeps on going. His hearing has turned selective, and his night vision is no longer very good. He often needs help getting to his feet, and he doesn't always make it outside when he needs to go. All the same, he's still a happy, contented, sweet old dog who always wants to be in the middle of whatever's going on.

There have been times when I catch myself watching him intently to make sure he's still breathing, and I wonder how many ticks are left in that gallant, failing old heart of his. Does he ever miss the dog he used to be? Does he ever miss getting into trouble, overturning the trashcans and making Houdini-like escapes through the backyard fence? The Doogie of yesteryear never would have missed an opportunity to put the cat through her paces. These days, she steps over him if he's lying in the path between her bed and the litterbox.

During the 3 AM lift-him-up-and-let-him-out shift, I sometimes wonder what he thinks of his quality of life. I worry that he senses that I can't bear to part with him, and so he sticks around and fights his way through another day, another week, because I want him to. I am sure that he doesn't want to leave yet, though -- I can see it in his sweet old gray face. His brother Duncan knew when it was time, and I hope Doogie will tell me honestly when the day comes (too soon) when he feels it's his turn.

When that day comes, he'll pad over the Rainbow Bridge to join Duncan and Cadence and Merlin and all the others who have gone before him. I hope that as a last act of pure Doogie defiance, that he'll knock over a couple of trashcans along the way.


CrackerSnacker said...
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CrackerSnacker said...

Im sure Doogie probably likes his life and has had a great ride with people that gave him a home and made the best life they could for him. Sometimes animals will go out of their way to show you they arent in pain when really they are..awhile back my cat drank Comet from the toilet and she wouldnt let me know no matter what...until she had almost passed and I realized something was terribly wrong. Your probably right when you say that Doogie can sense you dont want him to eave you as you go out of your way for him waking up from your sleep to take care of the old fella and Im sure he knows or takes it as his duty to teach the young pup what hes learned through his years. Some of the oldest pets I have ever been around that had lived a longevity were pets that were treated with best of care. Im sure doogie's heart will always be in debt to your family and yours to his and thats worth every last mile to him.
Great post Karen! Sorry for the deletion of the other comment but I gotta grab a new keyboard tommorrow some keys dont wanna work :(

Pirate said...

It's so hard when they get old. I think they do tell you. Before we got Sam, we had a female German Shepherd, a sweet girl with a few neuroses which she picked up before she came to us (she was 4 when my family adopted her). She went from being with us to being with my parents and back and forth, until the last few years which she spent with us (M&D retired, travelling alot, etc., etc). She had cancer and it went so fast. One day she was romping around in the park with me, the next she was ill. Four days later we had to put her down because she couldn't stand up on her own. It was so sad but she looked just tired at the end, not in any pain or offering up that "I'm really gonna miss you" look we convince ourselves they are saying.

Love your writing, Karen. Wonderful stuff. Yours is the first blog I go to and am always disappointed when something new is not there!

Things good around here. My piano is in the city!!!!!!! Now if it weren't so freakin' cold they could deliver it to the house. (I am actually expecting it Friday or Saturday, barring continuing -30/35 degree temperatures into the weekend.) Have to go down the store in the next day or so to play it, make sure it's all perfect. :) Mr P's got the house all ready for it. I can't wait.