Sunday, February 26, 2006


I’m glad that I’m not a fortuneteller. It would be nice for a couple of weeks to know which way certain stocks might go in the stock market but the rest is a burden.

We’re closing in on a milestone here. I’ve dug a “grave” in the backyard. I’ve got the aches and pains to show for it. A hole with a pile of dirt next to it. A blue tarp covers the site for the moment. I decided to get out there with a posthole digger and a shovel before this recent burst of artic air arrived. Hopefully Oreo (the Dalmatian) will fit just fine.

We see the future approaching.

The loss of muscle and inability to do things is increasing. She’s lived a good life. Things can’t be that great for her right now but if dogs can be stoic about it she’s doing a tolerable job. We’ve talked with vets and right now we’ve decided in a week or two that a vet will make a house call. Then it’s up to me to lower her body into the hole and cover her.

She’s been here in the house about half of the time we’ve lived here. She’s almost been part of the family half of our married life. Even our youngest son only has a couple of years on her. The boys all grew up and left her behind. They call us on their cell phones from their own lives. She just rises with a groan and stumbles toward the door with weak legs.

There was a time when I’d come home from the office, she’d roar up the stairs ahead of me and jump on the bed excited that I was home and could spends time with her. Seeing her stumble now it's hard to believe that once she'd pull son #2 down the street on his skates. She can’t even get up the few front steps now. We carry her. There was a time when she’d do what we referred to as the “whump.” She’d curl around and then “whump down” beside one of us to “be close” and “stake her territory.” Now it is painful watching her slowly, ever so slowly, lower herself.

And so we’ll place her in the garden where as a puppy she dug up flowers. And our lives will seem very different as we try to adjust.

As I said: I’m glad I’m not a fortuneteller. Knowing the future at times doesn’t bring great pleasure.