Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A long day...

     It's just a day of grooming for the Labrador Retriever that runs our household.  I dropped her off this morning and she'll be back under foot by 3:00 this afternoon.  So why in the world am I sitting here all down in the mouth, feeling like the last rose of summer?   Man-up for God's sake!  You're working from home (as opposed to being a resident of cubicle world) so do some work!  You're acting like a reality show drama queen ("The Real Husbands of Sugar Hill") 
     I'm down in the mouth because she's got a lot of gray growing in on that muzzle.  A jingle of my truck keys or her leash, the unlocking of the back door or a mention of birds at the feeder all bring a much slower response than they used to - it takes her a minute to get that bad hip moving.  She sleeps a lot and I know that after her day of grooming she'll be exhausted and she'll just come home and crash and have no interest in retrieving her stuffed duck or football from the other side of the living room.  When she sleeps that soundly I sometimes wake her up just to make sure she can wake up.  The lady of the house (the two-legged one) says I'm doing it to mess with her.  But she watched the decline our late, great black Lab and knows why I'm doing it, I'm sure.
     Don't get me wrong - this old girl ain't near death or anything.  But when a Lab's body begins to have a hard time trying to keep up with that forever young personality...well, it's hard to watch.  And this empty, boring house - even if just for a day - makes me realize the life she brings to it and I dread the day when it's permanently empty...until the good Lord finds us another lost soul that needs some food and shelter (which is how we got this one when the aforementioned black Lab met his Maker.) 
     "There is nothing exempt from the peril of mutation; the earth, heavens and the whole world is thereunto subject."  Sir Walter Raleigh was wise - even wiser when he lamented the short lives of dogs .  He felt it was probably a gift from the creator, knowing how attached we get in just a few short years - how hard would it be to let them go if they lived any longer?   My dearly departed Uncle Ralph said it a bit less poetic but no less truthfully - "Damn these dogs, they get in your soul."  He said that shortly after he'd helped my cousin dig a hole big enough to bury a car that served as the final resting place for an Irish Setter that had wandered into the road and met an early demise.
     I need to quit thinking about tomorrow and enjoy today, I realize.  So when she gets home I'll rub that tummy and listen to her snore.  And I might wake up a few times during the night to make sure she's still snoring...

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