Dougan was adopted into our household when he was 8 months old. He was a hyper golden retriever – too much dog for a professional woman and her 10-year-old daughter that owned him before. There was no fenced yard at their house so he spent his days in a travel kennel waiting for his people to return from work and school.
Dogs raised like this are typically neurotic as adults and can never get enough attention and affection. I know because I have had them before. They live good lives out in my fenced yard in the country with plenty of attention. He has been kept company by Bandit, an adorable 9 year old Red Heeler that also has had a questionable past. We are kindred spirits as I too had some rough years in my youth.
Dougie is now over 12, old for a golden retriever. A few weeks ago I thought he was failing as he was refusing food and limping badly. I thought it was the end. Luckily the vet just pulled a few bad teeth and gave him meds his joints and for an injured ligament. We are happy he is back being his silly self. I see myself mirrored in him as I age.
Twelve years of observation
and you know my moods and intentions
without a word being spoken
It’s the landscape of the body
And of the eyes
And maybe a bit of telepathy
You and I intertwined in a cross species dance
You are bound to me like the moon to the earth
And I to you like a tree to a limb
Four legs to two legs
Fur to furless
As your face whitens with age
And your eyes hollow
I know we have measured time
But for now
Walk with me on these country roads
Let me feel your warm presence
By my side
My steady companion
In this tenuous world