the old dog

by underswansea


It is two steps, maybe more up the side-hill, if you count. It is a dozen Sundays till Christmas as long as it’s the start of hunting season. Never had no money. Nor any use for any. Always carried a pocket full of bones. They got me in all the good places. There wasn’t a fishing trip I missed.

The old dog’s days are numbered. It is hurting me. She is an animal and knows how to manipulate me for walks and grub. She learned it long ago. Sometimes I think she knows me. But then I come to my senses.

She understands me more than her. I wonder if she knows I am going to kill her. She knows when I am thinking about taking pictures of bluebirds. She gets off the couch and gives me a nudge when I am half-drunk and thinking of taking a walk.

I hate to think she can read my mind. She is nearly three times my age in dog years. She seems addled, but age does that to you.

For now, we walk each morning. I clap and throw rocks to get her attention. She walks among the deer. Neither consider each other a threat. That’s the way it is when you get old. . . you become invisible. It has already started to happen to me.

I will wake up twice tonight to let her out. I don’t know what is going through her mind. I feel bad she can read mine.

The ice is breaking, maybe we will have a few more fishing trips. That would make her smile.

Her days are numbered, but whose aren’t, I suppose.