Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Today, I picked up our dog. For the first time in the 13 or 14 or however many years she has been a part of our family, I picked her up.

Most of the afternoon there were heavy thunder-showers and no opportunity for Woobie to go out for a walk. With a break in the weather, we went for our regular stroll around the neighborhood. Mud to sink paw into. Puddles to splash through. An increasing number of squirrels in the park. There used to be too many squirrels to count, and Woobie could spend hours chasing them up trees and barking them to death. After the storm, for a long time there were no squirrels. And then there was one. And after a year two. And now there are six.

Today we walked past the squirrels without a bark. Woobie's eye-sight is not so good anymore. And she doesn't run, she just walks now. She still barks. You can ask any of the construction guys that have been working at our house. If they get too close she snaps at them.

We got all the way around the park and had reached the corner to turn back to home when Woobie lay down. She lay down and then rolled over. Her head lolled to the side and her eyes rolled as she rolled onto her back with her feet sticking up in the air. It was like watching a goldfish go belly-up and dogs are not supposed to do that. The life was going out of her.

I had no phone. No one was out walking or driving. It was just me and a limp dog. I called her name, shouting. Nothing. Time was being lost. I picked her up and almost dropped her after the first step or two. She was too heavy and awkward to carry. I set her down to get a better hold and tried to pick her up again. She came to enough to snap at me. I felt a wave of relief. She's always hated any attempt to pick her up and being snapped at meant a return of her senses.

She looked at me, stood up, and walked on home, like nothing ever happened. I got inside and collapsed in a pile, crying hard. All the tiredness and sadness of the last long-while all came out at once. Not Woobie. Don't let Woobie go too.

She's old, I realize that. We don't actually know how old she is. One day she followed my brother home from a walk and she's been with us ever since.

Tomorrow she visits the vet.


Blogger Brie said...

I'm sorry and happy you had that experience with Woobie.
I'm sorry because I know she is loved and you want her to stay right where she is.
I'm happy because she came right back snapping!

June 01, 2007 4:22 PM  

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