Eleven years ago we got our first dog as a couple. I still remember how excited, and scared, we were. We named her Daisy Mae.
Gene Weingarten, in his and Michael S. Williamson’s wonderful book, Old Dogs: Are The Best Dogs, provides the following insight, leveraging an earlier reference to Kafka, on how we see ourselves in our dogs:
When we watch our dogs progress from puppyhood to old age, we are watching our own lives in microcosm. Our dogs become old, frail, crotchety, and vulnerable, just as Grandma did, just as we surely will, come the day. When we grieve for them, we grieve for ourselves.
The meaning of life is that it ends.
Daisy’s become slower, can’t walk as far, and she can be a little crotchety. When I think about her passing, I cry. But when I come back to present and I see her lying next to my chair, or warming my side of the bed, I smile. I think to myself how much I appreciate the gift of her life and how I cherish each moment, knowing that these moments aren’t unlimited.
Daisy is part beagle and part basset hound, and according to Wikipedia, a beagle has a life span of 12-15 years, and a basset hound 11-12 years. If you add them up, I figure she’s going to live another 12-16 years!
Watching her grow old is one of the great pleasures of my life, and no matter how much longer she lives, she’ll be with us for the rest of our lives.
Responding to A Word A Week Photo Challenge: Old.