Saturday, February 21, 2009
The Old Man
This is Trooper, my ancient Border Terrier. He's a wonderful old gentleman, as deaf as a post now, with a tumor on his stomach and almost nothing left of his side teeth due to his propensity to chew on sticks and rocks. He went out with Chris and I last month, and got to see his last raccoon up close and personal, but his back legs are quickly giving out on him, and he is starting to lose his mind.
It is this last bit -- his mind -- that is the worry right now, as he has taken to howling even though he is clearly in no physical pain. He howls because he is bewildered and already has one foot in the next world even as his legs are slipping out from underneath him in this one.
There is a season to all things, and I think Trooper's time is not too far into the future. I am taking it week by week with Trooper. We are old friends, and I will do right by him if I can. I do not want to rush his time on Earth, but I cannot keep him here forever.
Today my son took these pictures - my fatherly way of letting him know that Trooper's time is close. How much time does he have left, he wanted to know? I could not answer. I do not know.