He's old. Turned 13 in January.
He doesn't smell as sweet as he used to and isn't as attentive. He sleeps all the time, most recently, at night, nudging the door to my bedroom so he can lay on the floor beside me, spending half the night sighing loudly, the other half kicking his legs in rabbit-chasing dreams.
There are lumps growing in places there never used to be lumps and tear stains run from glassy eyes. he has to be called twice for his meals, three times to come in from outside, and a few times this last month, I had to walk through dewy grass at 2 am with a flashlight and pull him out of the long grass in the garden.
It makes me sad to see him growing old, to know the puppy he was. I feel his aches as he rises in the morning and wince to see him dragging a foot, limping on a sore hip. I give him natural aids, feed him well, always have.
He's been on phenobarbital since 1999 when he had two head injuries, once crashing into a steel door, thanks to a slippery hardwood hall and the other smacking his head on a thick wood table while trying to attack a squirrel through the deck window. His liver isn't right due to the meds and he barks sometimes for no reason, as if he's remembering another time, another somebody he had to protect me from.
He follows me around the house all day, coming to check on me when I'm in the shower, when I've been out of his sights for a while. he can't chew the bones he used to, or chase the balls we throw, but still he tries.
At least twice a day his hips will give out and I will have to raise him off the floor much like Bambi on the icy lake.
Dog people tell me, the end is near, prepare yourself. But how do you do that? and when do you know it's time? we've said, when he can't hold his bowels, when he goes blind, when the one medication isn't enough... but I don't know.
Some days I look at him and he looks embarrassed, as if he can see the dog he used to be and is disappointed in what he's become.
Like he's ready to chase rabbits in a steak-filled flea-less heaven.
I love you, Kid Kallahan.
forgive me my recent tweets, though you have been my muse for years:
You are like my old dog, no longer able to chase the pussy.
- you are like my old dog, happy to get a scratch behind the ears.
- You are like my old dog barking at nothing at all.
- You are like my old dog, spreading his scent around the neighborhood.
- You are like my old dog, waiting for something good to fall.
- You are like my old dog, neutered.
- You are like my old dog, hanging his head out the car window, slobbering on the glass.
- You are like my old dog, happy to lie at my feet.
- You are like my old dog, kicking his legs in his sleep and never getting anywhere.
- You are like my old dog, all bad breath and hair loss.
- You are like my old dog, half blind and deaf but still sticking his nose in strangers crotches.You are like my old dog, laying around and farting and never fessing up.