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Old Dogs

April 3, 2013

Lileks Dog

An acquaintance of mine has been Tweeting about his fears that his elderly dog may be coming to…that time.  I know how he feels: I’ve been there.

Dogs, like people, have seasons in their lives. From clumsy, frolicking pup to vibrant adulthood and thence to the long decline.

All dogs are appealing, but  it’s the old dogs who really get to me.  White muzzled, arthritic, limping, swaybacked, with their heads held low, their days of chasing squirrels and tussling on green lawns are over.   Now, they’re slow and creaky and vulnerable.  And they know it –  you can see it in their eyes.

Whenever I approach an old dog, I think, “This is a loyal creature who has lived life to the full and loved with all his heart.” And for that moment, while younger dogs are cavorting and leaping and chasing frisbees, he lays his weary head on my knee, grateful for the attention, and I love him, too.

(Photo courtesy of James Lileks)

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