Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Letters to a Small Dog

Dear Small Dog,

Though we've only been together for six years now, sometimes it feels like a lifetime. At 17.5 years old I often wonder just how much longer you'll be with me. Then somehow you do things to make me think that you might be like a parrot; that you might outlive your human. So if we're going to make it for a while longer yet, we have a few matters to discuss.

First premise: swimming is bad. Do not try it again. Ponds are not your friend. Because of this new obsession of yours I can no longer trust you to not go wading into water and then drown. This is both hysterically funny and frustrating at the same time. I have no desire to have to retrieve you from Robin's pond, so when we go out there next you will find yourself on a leash. This is really too bad because I KNOW how much you love walkabouts there.

Secondly, please stop launching yourself off of the back steps. For that matter, please do not launch yourself off of anything anymore. Last time at Julie's you launched yourself off of her front porch. It was distressing. Don't do it.

Please do your best to not face plant onto the sidewalk. I'd appreciate it if you'd try also to not chin plant into the steps going back up. Maybe it would be best to just not even go near the steps. Besides, you've already declared the doggie door a no-fly zone, so this is really the next logical step.

Since you don't see very well anymore and your body hurts, much of the time I find it necessary to carry you up and down the (two) steps, in order to avoid the above-mentioned face plant scenario. Seeing as to how we don't have much choice in this - at least not until I can build you a tiny little ramp - is it REALLY necessary to growl at me? Every time? Your displeasure has been duly noted. Truly.

Thirdly, please note that jerking your feet and bucking like a bronco when I'm trying to trim your toenails results in blood. Jerking your feet while I'm trying to stop the bleeding only results in the bloodstop stuff smeared all over both of us, and very little of it actually winding up on your toes. While I'm on the subject, please also refrain from howling like a banshee in my ear. Oh, and holster the teeth, OK? I don't know how we did toes for 5.5years with no complaint and now this is where we are. It's just no good.

Lastly, please stop enticing Pia to play. Every time I convince her that she shouldn't pounce on you because you're old, doddery, arthritic and cantankerous you blow it by going over there and play bowing to her. I don't even know how you CAN play bow since everything ELSE seems to hurt. I understand that playing with her makes you feel like a young buck again. I get it! But please... when I've intervened on your behalf be the bigger dog and walk away. Ok?

In return, I promise to take you to the groomer next time your bloomers need a trim. I am truly sorry for the butcher job I did to your tiny little hiney.

Clearly I won't be quitting my day job to become a groomer.

I AM sorry about the bloody toes, so next time I'll do it when you're sleeping (like I did last time).

If you will do these things for me I will give you extra sardines on fish night. I'll also stop offering you up free to a good home to every person I meet. Probably.


Doniene said...

What a friend!!!


Jean said...

Oh the bittersweetness of an aging dog! Great post - I must write similar letters to my old farts. Faceplants are a regular activity around here.

Laura Carson said...

Thanks, Doniene!

Jean, every time he does that (faceplants) I have to fight the urge to giggle. Please tell me this happens to you too. There is always the horrified part too, but part of me wants to laugh (and sometimes I just can't help it).