I love riding - it is a central part of my recreational life, and very important to my daily attitude.
But my poor friend and companion these past 11+ years, our wonderful Labrador, is laying on his bed whining in pain with the last stages of bone cancer. We'll give him another Oxy and he will sleep the night, but that isn't what he wants - he'd rather be the interested and curious and joyful old boy he has been for 11 years. Our son, who picked this pup from our female's litter 11 years ago, is coming down tomorrow with his fiance to say goodbye to our friend Rodney. Our youngest is returning from a month at an orphanage in India just in time to say goodbye. We lost our pup's mom two days before last Christmas for the same reason, and this good old boy is probably taking his last road trip on Tuesday.
Our recent addition to the family, a joyful Rat Terrier, has given life to the Old Boy these last few months. He has also been a source of laughter and love for the family humans. And we are excited by our new Airedale pup coming in a couple of weeks, who will help RatDog keep from eating our yard. But there is no such thing as a "replacement dog."
I'm convinced God gave us dogs as examples of unconditional lovers - and sometimes they give us so much more than we give them. We feed em, groom em, clean up after em - and they simply are devoted to us. On my worst day, my Friend has been able to cheer me up just because he wants my company. And he always wags his tail (and I think he wags it more when he farts- oowhee! what a perverse sense of humor).
I was all fired up for a great ride on Monday. Now I just want to sit with this old Friend - a ride doesn't sound fun right now.