It’s always difficult to lose a beloved pet, and I see the loss of our family dog looming, if not within months, then certainly in a few years. He’s 14, and to be honest, I expected him to die a violent death as a young dog – he was always breaking away and dashing toward imminent danger – so old age is a bit of an accomplishment.
When we first met him, he was a tiny golden sausage with absurdly long lashes. Now he has fatty tumors and tends to start breathing raspily at the end of a short walk. He still has moments when he thinks he’s a puppy though.
In my opinion, he’s been the perfect dog. Soft, fluffy, cuddly – just mischievous enough to be interesting.
Perfection doesn’t mean that he is always obedient. No, he failed 4H dog obedience by four points, and some of the points he gained by lying still were due to the fact that he was too occupied by eating dog poop to move.
He wasn’t always perfectly friendly. Although he gets along well with people, he usually tries to start fights with other dogs, and he maayy have bitten a few people as a puppy.
He irritates my mom by coming into the kitchen when he isn’t supposed to. You can’t have a phone conversation with her without having her damage your eardrums by suddenly scolding him.
But he’s always happy to see you and usually happy to have you pet him, especially if you’re joined in the activity by everyone else in the room. A pet’s love isn’t like a person’s. It’s more straightforward; less tenuous. A couple of my college roommates accused me of liking animals more than people. While that’s an exaggeration, I do love my dog. I wish he had a longer lifespan and wasn’t now categorized as a “senior dog.”
Here he is: