A Love Letter to My Elderly Dogs.
It took me so long to really fall in love with you, Tico. It drove me crazy that you loved to pee on anything plastic, from grocery bags to new record albums. But the problem was mine. When I kept plastic off the floor, you magically stopped lifting your leg. (At least for a while.) When dear little Coffee, your best poodle buddy, died two years ago, Vanessa decided you needed a friend. Last Christmas, V brought Harriet into our home. (Unfortunately, you and Harriet don’t really interact, did you? You just put up with each other.) Harriet was on death row for doggies—old and smelly, with wicked bad breath. I think her first fifteen years were not great. (Think those sad donation-soliciting ads on late-night TV, the ones with the Sarah McLachlan soundtrack). But now she’s part of our family, isn’t she?
Tico my friend, living with two elderly dogs can be challenging. You lose bladder control, can’t hear, can barely see, and so on. The same disintegration that might befall us humans one day.
I love both you elderly beasts. I can’t sleep unless your little poodle body is nestled against my leg at the end of the bed. You comfort me in a way even Greg doesn’t. (Did I just say that out loud?) Waking up to your poodle warmth gives me the energy to get some coffee, hop into the shower, and head to CMg (Tico, you remember—that’s where I’ve worked for the last twenty-six years.) And no matter what is going on in my life, even if I am in a horrible mood when I pull into the driveway, I become a serenely patient and tolerant baby-talking mother hen to my canine greeters. I don’t even mind when you inevitably try to escape through the gate opened just long enough for me to pull in. I guess that, as much as I care for and about you, what I get far outweighs what I give.
POSTSCRIPT Since I wrote this, Harriet has gone to poodle heaven and, honestly, I know you are happier, Tico. I think we’ll wait to bring another 🐶 into our home. Greg wants a Weimaraner. I, of course, want another poodle, just like you. We’ll see.
Julie Markfield, CEO & Creative Director