Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Moment with a Very Old Dog

[Giacomino - pronounced jocka-MEEno - is fourteen and a half. We rescued him, starved and sick, from a for profit breeder who had sold two of his littermates, at five and one half weeks of age, to a pet store. We thought we could find him a home. He was in our house for about ten minutes when we realized something. He was home.]

Very Old Dog has been my shadow for over fourteen years. Even though I learned, long ago, never to step backwards without looking, I have still stepped on him 459 times. When I shower, he curls up on the bath mat. When I type, my chair ends up scooted in too far under the computer desk, because he has sprawled out beyond the edges of his bed, and if I move back I'll run over his sweet nose. Right now, in bed as I type on my newly repaired and once again functional laptop, his head is on my right foot.

The dogs all went to bed last night a little past nine, (lobbying for their snacks early) but I finished some sewing. I came in the bedroom an hour later. Very Old Dog was sound asleep on the foot of our bed, (I lift him up and he gets his snack there) where he has his own pillow and blankets. I brushed my teeth, and when I climbed in bed, my Very Old Dog got up - no simple task these days and nights - and moved up to the top to rest his head on my arm. His coat is so soft. And though most of his brindle patch has faded to white, his ears are still black. They often stand straight up now, straining, because they don't hear much anymore. But they feel as silken and soothing as they ever did.

He looked at me, and sighed, and snuggled in and then even with my limited human understanding, I realized something. Very Old Dog always used to lie next to me on the couch, or climb in my lap in a chair, and lately he hasn't been. It dawned on me that it isn't because he doesn't want to, which is what I thought. He can't. He can't get up on a couch. My heart broke a little bit.

Today, I picked him up and held him in my lap whenever I could. Even extra for lost time. And I will tomorrow and every day I can.

Hug your hounds


  1. Oh Patience
    Hug him tight and kiss him lots..fow us too..what a wondewful doggie he is! and sooo bootiful,we can imagine his silky eaws..you awe so lucky to have had all these yeaws wif him..I hope you have lots mowe
    smoochie kisses

  2. this brought a lump to my throat. hugs to the little old guy from over here.

  3. It's so hard seeing them get old and unable to do the things they used to do.

    Give him an extra hug from me as well please!

  4. That is heartbreaking, but at the same time, now you know. Now Giacomino has gotten through to you and you can do for him what he no longer can. He will be that much happier. :) Give him some smooches for me!

  5. Beans....such a dear soul;how blessed you are to have the love of such a dog:-) I'm so glad you'll now have the extra snuggle times on the couch and your lap that you may have missed!
    Give him a couple of gentle kisses from me, maybe right on his little white head or black ears.

  6. Just keep on loving him. There is nothing he needs or wants more

    kisses to all

  7. Francarrich from WWAugust 20, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    Been there Patience! My favourite moments are still when my whippet curls himself down beside me & sighs or gives a little groan of contentment at being with me. What more can any dog owner want?

    Aren't we the lucky ones, there are millions of people out there who have never even wanted a dog let alone loved & been loved by one! (Or more).


  8. He is sooo beautiful, pls give him hugs and kisses from us too.

    You are a great hoooman!

  9. I love that old dog.


  10. he sounds like such a special dog. all he wants is to be with you and be loved. you're a lucky human to have had him for such a long time. we hope you have a lot more time together to come.


  11. Such a sweet post. You made me well up with a sniffle a moment, and it's not even that time yet. Just the thought of LOVING them so much ...

  12. One of the best. You and Very Old Dog. Lots of hugs to go around for all.

  13. Oh Patience, I got that dang lump in my throat again. I know what you mean. Isn't it nice that you realized this when you did, so VOD can once again sit with you on the couch. (**SNIFF**)
    Do you do what I used to do? My VOD was spied on something fierce. Seems I just had to make sure his chest was still rising and falling....(I bet you do that too..)
    Hugs to the old dude (and to you)
    Jamie, Sunny & Scooter

  14. Aww.. The sweet old guy.. Give him a few extra kisses from me!

    Hugs, Ane.

  15. Dear P and VOD-whippie kisses and hugs galore!!! You make us snuff-ly very often. Martha and P-Doggy

  16. I'm just starting down this road with my Gracie - who is only 8.5 years in age but very old in her body. She snuggled her head on my leg last night and my heart melted.

    Hugs to both you and VOD

    Sue, Gracie, and HotRod

  17. Pick him up and hug him tightly every single day - twice a day, Patience! Giacomino is a special boy!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  18. Oh, I am glad to hear that Very Old Dog got some extra loving!! I wish I could give him some hugs!!


    Dog lover

  19. Awwwwh, what a sweet boy he is. Can you get him those steps or even a ramp for dogs so he can get up onto the bed or couch? Or you can even make them cheap. Mama told us she will have them for us someday so we can still get up on furniture to be by her. Give him some kissies from us & Mama.
    Luv & Wirey Hugs!
    Butchy & Snickers
    PS I love my new fancy pants!!

  20. I'm gonna give my old dog extra hugs and snuggles.

  21. this was so sweet, Mom is giving Tanner pets right now as he is always her little shadow too.

  22. And he is getting all that wants in life..you...Love A+A+PL@ who has very very leaky eyes

  23. Reminded me a little too much of my Jacques. I think that's why of your whole waggle, he's the one with the softest spot in my heart (and we've never even met!). We're so lucky to have their love, even for a short while.

  24. Awww. Hugs to Very Old Dog and to you.


  25. Patience Girl!

    THIS is why my girl only lets me come here every once in awhile... your heartbreaking sweetness gets us EVERY time. Please give Very Old Dog a couple of big juicy goober smooches right between his eyes from us. He sounds like a good egg and a shining soul!

    We love hearing about you and your hounds. So, don't think we don't just because we come by only occassionally!

    Goob hugs and smooches all around, and especially for you Big P! You're a PEACH among peaches!

    Goober love,

  26. Please give him kisses and hugs from us too!

  27. LS had tears in her eyes after reading this. So beautiful and warm...Hugs to Giacomino. Glad to know what a loving home he has.


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