Very Old Dog is only three months shy of his fifteenth birthday. He is doing well. He eats everything offered, and charges along on his daily walk around the block, carefully reading all the pee mail, doing modified leapies of unmodified joy. Giacomino, in his youth, would leap straight up off all fours, a capriole of canine enthusiasm, way up in the air, equal in height to my shoulder.
Now he does these precious modified leapies. They're sort of a little jump, bounce and expression of glee. And they make my toes smile.
He does have spinal stenosis, the result of catching too many squirrels while travelling at a speed of 35 mph. Diving for the varmint, grabbing it and rolling, like a wide receiver. Without the padding. The spinal stenosis causes a disconnect between his legs and his brain.
Brain to legs, "Jump up those stairs."
So I help him with stairs. He's learned to wait at the top and bottom of our twisting, treacherous staircase in the house. It's an old house, and the downstairs ceilings are twelve-footers, so the stairway is steep.
Outside, there are three steps down from the breezeway to the yard. His preference is to leap straight off the top step and land plunk on all fours. This causes my heart to fibrillate. My preference is to help him up and down, but it is his time to fly and he tries his best to avoid my assistance.
I must be vigilant.
Yesterday I failed. I led him down the steps, and ran back in to preheat the oven. We were having dinner guests, and I needed to get the pie in. How long does it take to light an oven? Thirty seconds? It usually takes Very Old Dog a good sixty seconds to pee. But it was cold yesterday. Really cold.
When I turned to go back and retrieve him, he was already at the door.
"Oh! You did the steps by yourself! How about that!"
And then my heart fell out of my chest and landed right on the bloody spot on my dear, sweet, Very Old Dog's nose.
He had fallen, obviously, and struggled to get up. He had another scrape on his paw.
The only way my socks could get me over this one, is if I wrapped one really tight around my neck until my eyeballs popped out of their unworthy sockets and dribbled down my blue, lifeless cheeks.
hug your hounds
Contest #100 looms
20 hours ago