Story by Bob Perks
She couldn’t say a word. She could see how upset I was, she heard me yell at her and yet, she walked up and kissed me on the nose.
Our dog Daisy is old. There is no doubt about that. When she jumps down off the couch it hurts. Often times when we try to pick her up she cries out and we apologize. She eats well some days and other times she smells the food and walks away. We spend over $50 a month for her medication and I believe it is the only thing that keeps her going.
She gets caught in the hurry of my day. Because she moves slower, because she doesn’t do what I want her to do at just the right time, I find myself frustrated and angry. Yet, there isn’t a moment when I look at her that I don’t stop to pet her, kiss her and scratch her belly. She is an Old English mix of sorts rescued from the S.P.C.A. more than ten years ago. Certainly not pure bred but beautiful. So her fluffy soft hair around her face makes you want to hold her, crawl up next to her and stay there all day.
Because she is getting older her digestive system is touchy. If we go out for any length of time, we must remember to place newspapers near the door. Sometimes when I am home and she is asleep downstairs she will wake up and forget that I am here. Out of necessity she will head to the back door and relieve herself.
Later she comes strolling upstairs and I can sense something is wrong. She has the look of a child who knows they are in trouble. Yes, I believe she knows how to pout and blink her beautiful eyes to say “I’m sorry!” It melts your heart and you find yourself telling her, “It’s Okay.”
Our love was tested yesterday in what eventually turned out to be laughable. Several times during the day while working on my new book, I heard her fussing and moving about. Every time I checked on her she needed to go out. She was having one of those “digestive problems” that would have wreaked havoc on our home had I not been here.
So as to avoid graphic details that may upset some, permit me to sum it all up this way:
I let her out five times.
On two separate occasions she stepped in it and I needed to clean her feet.
Much later in the day I discovered she had stepped on me and I needed to clean my sneaker.
She got sick once on the living room floor.
When my wife came home at the end of her day I waited patiently for her to ask, “So how was your day?”
As I stood there telling my story, she kept looking at my feet. “What did you spill on the back of your sneaker?” she asked. Looking down I noticed that somewhere along the way she had also managed to soil my other sneaker. I never saw it.
Out of frustration… I began to laugh.
There, in the middle of all this was Daisy. She excitedly jumped around wagging her tail making us both feel so very loved.
I looked at her later that evening and said to her, “I wouldn’t want it any other way. Promise me you’ll stay forever.”
You see for all of those ten plus years we have had her, Daisy has been a friend, a companion, and a great listener. During some of my most difficult times in my life I have always found compassion and comfort in holding her near. So the very least I can do in these remaining years of her life is to understand. And yes to wash her feet, lift her up to the couch when she can’t quite make it, clean up after her, forgive her and pray that when her times comes she will pass in her sleep quietly by our side.
A touching true story about our love for our animals isn’t it?
It is true. But here’s the real reason I wrote this. I recently saw a story on television about how some people treat their elderly relatives, parents, and grandparents. The abuse in some homes for the elderly is an outrage.
Go back and re-read the story. Place the name of an elderly relative in there and ask yourself, “Would I do the same for them?”