He’s sweet. He’s kind. He never holds a grudge. He takes nothing personally. He has no ego. He takes the high road. No, I’m not talking about spiritualist Eckhart Tolle, but I could be. My dog Simon is all these things but has one MAJOR flaw that’s driving me insane…
Simon is 13 years old and incontinent. He loses control. Several times a week… inside the house. I’m at my wit’s end.
I brought Simon to the vet who said he has kidney issues. No kidding. This situation is causing him to drink rivers of water, which is causing him to lose it in the house. A lot. I was given special food to feed him and pray it works.
Now I know lots of people would take a dog in this condition to the vet for the “final visit,” if you catch my drift. And part of me understands this decision. After all, it is your home and no one wants it messed with, literally. But I look at this animal and even though he’s half-blind, stone deaf, arthritic, hoarse and now incontinent, he’s happy.
Simon still follows me everywhere, creaky and wobbly and visibly relieved when I settle down in one spot. He lies in our dining room each morning, not only catching a sunbath but keeping one eye on me as I write in the kitchen.
He still loves his dinnertime at 4:00 p.m. prompt, circling around while I place his dog food in his bowl.
He still loves his treats.
He still smiles.
He still makes three slow turns before easing down into his doggie bed each night. He still gives a content sigh after closing his eyes.
In his young pup days Simon was a great watchdog, alerting us if anyone set foot on our property. He’d stay by my side protectively if any repairman or stranger came to our home. He taught my sons kindness and responsibility.
He showed understanding when I’d put him on his outside leash, get distracted and forget to bring him back in. An hour later I’d remember and dash to get him.
One time I did this when it was cold and rainy and I felt shame as I wiped him down with a towel. “I’m so sorry,” I murmured, leaning my face into his damp forehead. Simon wagged his tail.
Simon has taught me several big lessons in life – how to live in the moment, how to love unconditionally, and how to forgive.
Now I’m getting one last lesson…how to be patient. And yet as long as Simon is enthused about life, I’ll keep going. I’ll try and help this crazy-looking hound I adopted ten years ago. I’ll try and give him a comfortable and merciful old age. After all, I know Simon would do the same for me.
Still, these days can be trying. One minute I’m swearing as I’m cleaning up another accident. The next I’m sighing, scratching behind his ears. And always is the question, what do I do with this dog?
And always is the same answer…love him.
(Postscript: Simon passed away peacefully in July, 2015).
Do you have an old pet you just can’t quit? Comments are always welcome. Thank you for reading and sharing..