She leaned on her cane by the mail-box, patiently waiting for Willie and me to walk up the street to her. I asked Willie to pick up the pace and not make as many stops as he would like, leaving pee-mails and getting messages from dogs who'd already been out this morning.
When we reached the elderly woman she said, "I wanted to pet your dog because he seems so nice. On Wednesday I had to put my dog to sleep and now I miss her so much. I'm 92 years old and I don't have anyone to take care of, to get up for in the morning." Oddly enough, I was thinking about her and her dog just yesterday, since I hadn't seen them in our daily passings. Often the two of them would be in the yard, tending her flowers or talking with neighbors. Her dog, a black and while border collie-cocker mix, would gimp out to the edge of the yard barking madly, but never offering to come across the street to straighten Willie out. Like her owner, she was a dignified, elderly lady.
As he had been taught, Willie sat patiently so she could pet him. Dogs seem to know when they're what the doctor ordered. He was on the job.
We spoke of the pleasures of sharing our homes with dogs and the empty places they leave when we no longer have them. Her dog was 15 years old. I asked if she'd thought about adopting an old, more sedate dog and she said, "No, not at my age. I wondered about calling the local animal care society to see if I could come there and just talk to the dogs and pet them, but I don't drive much anymore."
After some time passes, maybe she would allow me to drive her to the animal care place. I would be honored to do this. In the meantime, Willie and I will stop by for a periodic "Hello" while out on our rambles so she can again enjoy touching and looking into the eyes of a dog, man's best companion at any time of our life.
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.