On a draggy day, I decided to thank someone for something I regularly feel, but rarely share. Kate, dear furry friend, elevates me when I’m feeling irrelevant. Our friends, who had unexpected lab-shepherd puppies just over 14 years ago and bestowed Kate upon us, surely had no idea the place she’d carve out in our lives.
“Jonathan and I are increasingly grateful for this intensely devoted companion who shares our days, thanks to you guys. Her back legs wobble and occasionally collapse, her breath could wilt an acre of forest, her hearing is 90% gone; rising demands heaving effort, and lying down involves a painstaking maneuver that ends with a house-shaking whump!
Nevertheless, once we're on the move, she trots, ears up, brings us sticks to throw, shadows our steps. She eats with wolfish enthusiasm, even if she has to be woken for dinner. Mostly, though, she makes us feel beloved, protected, tended to with the intense commitment of a shepherd. These long days at home, she stands when I stand; waits at the bottom of the stairs if I go up. If I lean over to stretch my back, she's in my face, maybe seeking a neck rub, but mostly, it seems, making sure everything's okay. Many dogs relish love and scratches, but in Kate's case, it truly feels that taking care of us is more important to her than getting something from us. We’ve never had a dog so thoroughly committed to our well-being.
Kate turned 14 in February, as you probably know. We are happy she's sticking around, ever-watchful to be sure her days aren't a burden to her. We will miss her terribly when the day comes for her to go.”
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 242: 285 words, TOTAL = 39,842; 20,158 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.