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I am old soul who covers the grey really well. I love to be active and creative. I am blogging to help keep the memories alive and to keep those special moments around.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My old dog

It is a quiet 7 a.m. here at my house. I am the only one up except for my dog, Smitty. He is laying here next to me vegging out. We believe he is now 18 years old. It has been a difficult summer for him and myself. Age has caught up with him.

Life is very slow for Smitty. His hips are bad which cause him lots of pain. He especially has trouble getting up. Sometimes he back pedals so much trying to get up, he literally scoots himself under the bed and gets stuck. I hear him whimpering from the other room and I come running. I help him up and down the steps too.

I found Smitty at the Humane Society. We had just bought a house because I wanted a dog. My husband had never had a dog before so we agreed to find an older dog. I had read in a dog newspaper that this particular dog, a golden retriever mix, was there. When we came to his cage, the caretaker told me they would not put him to sleep because he was so good. I knew right then and there that he was mine.

He has been a good dog. He has been a loyal dog. He has been a nanny to my children. They learned to walk when they would crawl over to him and grab his fur. He would get up to leave with the baby still hanging on. For the babies, it was walk or fall. Smitty was so gentle with them and never was mad at me when the babies took precedence over him. He has been my driving partner and best friend for many years.

Before my kids were born, I would walk him before and after work. I worried about leaving him alone all day. After all he was my first baby. In fact, we would leave him with a friend to be babysat when we would be one for long periods of time. Once the babies came along, we would still walk almost everyday. I would have the baby in stroller and Smitty pulling us along on a retractable long leash. I often heard the comment "Who is walking whom?" Even when I had a double stroller, he would still pull us all along.

The challenge to walking Smitty was to be on squirrel alert. He would take off after them the second he spotted them. He also had a habit of rolling around in whatever he deemed to be a special fragrance outside. This would either be the muck from the creek or a special present left by another dog. Those were good times. Lately, he has an annoying habit of barking incessantly whenever food is out. But we still love him.

Now he sleeps most of the day. He is very picky about food. He prefers the human kind. There are days when I think it is over but then the next day, he has a little spring left in his step. I often whisper in his ear that whenever he is ready to leave his tired body behind that it is o.k. I know it will be hard to say good-bye but sometimes you have to let the good ones go.

I often joke with my husband that heaven will be for me Smitty waiting at the pearly gates but I mean it. He has been part of our family. We all love him so much. Right now his pain is our pain. I still remember the young dog who was smart enough to lay on the couch when we were not in the house. I still remember the young dog who was attacked by our cat when our newborns would cry and not move a muscle. I care for the old dog who can't see in the dark anymore. I leave the porch light on for him.

Smitty, I love you!

1 comment:

Suzie said...

OH MOOEY I love you too.... You are my boyfriend

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