Annoyed and Grateful

He is 15.  He is going blind.  He is going deaf.  I am annoyed and grateful for his presence.

The kids are sleeping. I am typing. He is barking at every imaginable thing he perceives. I am annoyed and grateful.

His brother runs past, he barks.  Shadows dance on the wall, he barks.  Air moves in the house, he barks.  I am annoyed and grateful.

His hair is falling out in clumps.  He won’t play catch anymore.  He refuses to go up and down stairs.  I am annoyed and grateful.

I am annoyed at all the meaningless barking.  He always was a dog who liked to bark at people in the street, now he barks at shadows.  I am annoyed that he ignores simple directions, as though to say “I’m old, what are you going to do about it?  You come to me kid.”  And yet that is exactly what I do because I am grateful.

I am grateful he is 15.  My children will be devastated by his passing (and so will I).  We still take walks, only now he goes at my pace instead of me at his.  He still plays in the snow. I think it makes his oldman hips feel better.  He loves when Grandpa comes over and plays “hide the chicken” with him.  (He plays hide and seek with Grandpa, only Grandpa, and a toy chicken).  I am grateful for 15 years of puppy love.

He is 15.  He is going blind and deaf.  He is barking at the wind again.   I am annoyed and grateful.

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4 thoughts on “Annoyed and Grateful

  1. I love your post. At first I didn’t realize you were talking about your puppy love, thinking it could be your child or your nephew. I love the back and forth between annoyance and gratitude and I know I can use that for my own writing, about a recent loss. I’m not sure if my students ca do it yet, but it is definitely worth the effort. Thanks for writing this, and for opening up so hat I could take a peek into your world today.

  2. We have a member of the family, our dog, who is 14 years old who also is going blind and deaf. We love her so much. She has been faithful and loyal through all these years. I understand your slice so well. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Your pup sounds like he’s lived a full and happy life. Annoyed and grateful perfectly described the scene…it must be hard seeing the pup decline in health. Thinking of you and the pup.

  4. I can tell this was a gut-wrenching slice for you to write. The repetition makes it beautiful and brings out the emotions you (and your kids) are feeling. I’ve never had a dog, but I can imagine witnessing his decline is hard on you mentally and emotionally.

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