I Am Not a Dog

2018-03-12 – I am not a dog. I know that may sound like a silly statement, but how do you know that you are not a dog? When you take your pet for a walk, what makes you thing that you are walking the dog? Maybe the dog is walking you? (Dude! The dog is walking you.)

I’ve been walking dogs for my entire married life, which is now over 27 years. I didn’t walk dogs before because I didn’t much like having a pet, but my wife had a dog. And since we’ve been married we’ve gone through several generations of dogs.

And that’s how I know I’m not a dog. If I were a dog, I’d be dead already.

Some say that a dog ages 7 years for every 1 human year. Others try to get fancy with the equation. But I’ll stick with 7-for-1. It seems to fit with my observation.

Our current dog Lefty is 11 years old. That makes him 77. Last year he was 70. The year before he was 63. I am 66. So, for the last couple of years I’ve been witnessing the trajectory of my life on fast-forward. I see the aches and pains. I see the kvetch upon standing up. I see the getting up in the middle of the night to go pee.

It pained me to see his pains, not from an abundance of empathy, but because I had them, too. That’s why it was distressing this past winter to see the level of pain go up in him. I had to go upstairs to get him for a walk because, if he came down the stairs himself, he would inevitably fall and go bump, bump, bump, all the way down. And I’m having an MRI on my knee to see what is torn!

My wife takes him to the vet regularly and we have meds that she administers to him hidden in peanut butter and we have food that’s supposed to restore at least some of his youthful vigor.

And it seems to be working.

I know that there is no return trip. Lefty’s never going to be a puppy again. And that’s probably good, because I’m not going to be a boy again. But in recent days he’s been coming down the steps on his own. It’s not the way it used to be, but there’s no bump, bump, bump. He gets worked up if we encounter another dog on his walk. And the overnight peeing seems to have abated (mostly). His, not mine.

For now, it’s good.

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