Doggie Smile

I am currently living with a 13 1/2 year old dog who is starting to lose her vision and hearing. Though it’s debatable whether it’s “selective” or not, i.e. she can hear food, but not me calling her name? Questionable. And makes me me want to be old too, that way I can “choose” what I hear and see. What a great “superpower.”

But I digress. She is starting to get cataracts in her eyes and sometimes she makes a misstep while on our walks around the neighborhood. I worry about her, but she seems really happy and carefree still. Her registered middle name is “Happy-Go-Lucky”, so it’s not out of character for her to love life.

Ginger, our Shetland Sheepdog

Anyways, the point is that as she ages, she will lose her eyesight and hearing even more. Which leads me to realize the importance of touch. When I touch her furr, she knows I am there. When I push her toward her food (gentle push, more like), she has guidance and can’t use her “superpower” to ignore my push. And she is perfectly content with a human just petting indicated by her “doggy smile” (shown to the right). She’s completely content with whatever is going on at that moment, right then. Even if Dad is forcing her to take weird pictures involving posing her with alcoholic beverages.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that I am enjoying this time spent with her. Going on walks. Taking silly pictures. Watching her sleep (which is totally okay if it’s a dog, but if it was a human? Line crossed). And hopefully she doesn’t mind all those things. Doggie smile, right?

I leave in January to start my new life and I am not sure if she will be here when I get back. Not that she has any health conditions now, but, well, you know. Stuff happens.

It would be an understatement to say I don’t deal well with death. At all. Yes, I am a Christian and I know about Heaven and such, but I just don’t do well with it. I am starting to cry right now, what a baby! I realized this about myself at my neighbor’s funeral service and viewing in October, I was a human version of Niagara Falls. Yet one more reason why I didn’t choose funeral director as my profession (but God bless those who are able to do that).

Who knows what will happen in a year? Go ahead. Give the year a fresh start with a doggie smile and be content with what’s going on around you. I know I’ll try to start it off right, just like Ginger.


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