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.