My Shugo is going to be 12 in March. In people years, that’s 84. He’s getting up there in age and he is beginning to show signs of aging. He’s not the happy puppy all the time. His little bones creak and his movements are a bit slower.
Earlier this evening he looked at hubby and I, sighed and went into bed. I could hear him stirring and soon he came back into the living room and laid down again.
When hubby and I headed to bed, he hesitated at the door. We told him to get into his bed and he obeyed, the good dog that he is.
As usual, I did not fall asleep right away. My mind wandered and I lay thinking of what I could write about winter. The trains in the distant seemed closer tonight. The whistles were louder and more impatient. I focused on them until I heard a softer whine. A persistent whine.
Shugo was not sleeping. He laid on the floor crying. I got up and we came back into the living room where he lay on the floor and shivered and cried. I got him his blanket that he loves and wrapped him up. I sat beside him and patted him. He appreciated it, but did not want to be close. He kept moving and I kept following him, covering him up.
So, here I am, on the couch watching my friend shiver on the floor. He is now wrapped in his favorite blanket and another that I grabbed off the couch. He is resting and my heart is aching.
I know his breed can live up to 20 years, but, I don’t want him to live that long and have a poor quality of life. What I can see is that this is the winter of his life. This breaks my heart. This friend who has given me such joy and laughter. He has given me stories and lessons that I will cherish for the rest of my life. He has gotten up with me in the nighttime. He has heard me pray in the early hours of the day. He has sat beside me, waiting for me to do what I need to. He is content with a pat on his head and ‘a good boy’. He is my friend.
So, tonight, I think of winter. The winter of age. That time we will all face when aches and pains take over rest and relaxation. Tonight I sit with a friend as he finally finds a place that is comfortable and warm, and I pray for him as he drifts off to sleep, snoring peacefully.