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The march of time - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
The march of time
In the elevator this morning, Bob slipped on some stray water and landed on his rump with an echoed thud. He looked back at me with a question in his eyes and I’m afraid I didn’t have an answer for him other than a scratch behind his ear for reassurance and a Yeah, buddy, that’s what happens when you get to be your age. As I would with a grandparent, I worry about him falling and breaking a hip although the consequences would be more devastating than simply being relegated to a walker.

This weekend, I watched him on more than one occasion slowly climb off the sofa only to stand in the middle of the room, usually and annoyingly blocking the remote control’s beam to the TV, and he stared into space, trying to get his bearings, but ultimately returning to his spot on the couch. His trajectory is a study of pained labor; his front paws bracing for the brunt of his eighty pounds, and then a pause and a look over to me. The moment I reach for his back legs, however, his pride takes over, and his hind legs find themselves slowly reaching the zenith of the cushions. He harrumphs into position and starts licking the denim of the couch, a compulsive behavior or a fetish – it really doesn’t matter.

On Saturday, the weather was a balmy fifty degrees and we went for a walk in Rock Creek Park with Joe. “This isn’t far at all from where they found Chandra Levy,” Joe said, and both Bob and I shuddered. Joe led us up a steep muddy path, a horse trail with evidence along the way, and normally Bob would have been in front of the pack, leading us with his tail pointing to the sky and his watchful eye holding danger at bay. I wistfully noted this to Joe, who understood, as he is an overflowing reservoir of compassion and knowledge.

We reached the peak of the hill and stood still for a moment, all three of us catching our breath. On the way down, Bob proceeded with caution, his body close to the ground and his feet fighting for purchase in the soft mud. Bob sniffed out a potential pee spot and tried to balance on the trio of his legs with one in the air but he lost some of his support and wobbled. I saw this happen, as I’ve seen it happen over the past several months, and a little piece of me fluttered away.

I watch helplessly as the accelerated march of time takes our Bob down an inevitable path, one not littered with horse manure, but one that will surely lead him back to his Daddy. I also watch and pray that time can slow down just enough for Bob to make it to his backyard again where I am certain cookies are waiting to be found.
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Comments
From: inkprincess Date: February 17th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, poor bob! :( hugs and kisses to you both!
fabulist From: fabulist Date: February 17th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
We'll go somewhere a little flatter next time, I think.

He's stronger than he looks, though.
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: February 17th, 2004 08:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah lovely entry. There's nothing more noble than an ageing dog.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: February 17th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)
"a compulsive behavior or a fetish – it really doesn’t matter."

aren't we all creatures of compulsive behaviors, and fetishes?
lovely entry
time gets us all eh?
be well

quuf From: quuf Date: February 17th, 2004 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I think the artists of old had it wrong. Angels aren't fat little cherubs or long-tressed androgynes or muscular trumpeters, but big black labs with little white moustaches.
poohbearjim From: poohbearjim Date: February 21st, 2004 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
He harrumphs into position and starts licking the denim of the couch, a compulsive behavior or a fetish – it really doesn’t matter.

I'm so glad to hear of another elderly dog doing that. My 15-year-old dog, Weasel, has taken to licking the floor - usually a throw rug - with compulsion. The vet seemed perplexed when I explained it to him, but he said there's really nothing to worry about. I think the texture must feel good on their tongues or something.

She no longer can jump up on the couch or bed, although she has no problem jumping down if I've helped her up to begin with. I, too, worry about the possibility of broken bones, though, so I try not to let her.

I take her to work with me, but I've noticed that she's started having difficulty standing up when lying down on the hardwood floor there...it's so slippery.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: February 22nd, 2004 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Your Weasel is a really cute girl. I bet Bob would like her. It's hard for him to meet others his age. She's a lucky girl to get to go to work with her dad. I was able to take Bob to work back in LA and he never spent a day alone. Now he just languishes in the apartment by himself and sleeps. I wish he could be sleeping at my feet at work. I feel like I'm missing precious moments away from him.

I told my vet about Bob's licking issues and he suggested it may be a form of senility. I blanched at the suggestion and all six of our legs stormed out.

Thank you for reading some past posts. I'm very grateful.
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