2017-09-08 / Commentary

Make me the person my dog deserves

40–Something

Sometimes aging isn’t much fun. Just ask my poor 10-year-old cocker spaniel, Daisy. She’s got more problems than congress, but she has a much better approval rating because, despite all her issues, she’s still as sweet as she was the day she waddled away from her four-legged mom and into our lives.

Daisy is going blind, but that doesn’t seem to bother her as long as she’s in familiar territory.

The problem that’s really plagued her since she was potty trained is that she is allergic...to the world. Everything makes her itch. We’ve tried medication, different kinds of food, and special shampoos but to no avail. The only thing left to do is to take her to some guru healer in the Far East for some alternative ideas.

The dog was just born itchy. So she spends most of her spare time scratching and chewing on herself.

It’s her hobby, like fishing or crocheting. Granted, self-mutilation isn’t much of a hobby, and the sounds that emanate from a dog going after its own nether regions are just about the most disgusting sounds on earth, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.

At least she’s got something to do, right?

But now she’s got bigger problems...literally.

The poor thing has some kind of tumor growing on her underside. It’s benign, but don’t worry; we’re having it removed (and hopefully, winning the lottery to pay for its removal). We thought briefly about leaving it because it doesn’t seem to bother her, and it’s not cancer, but let’s just say this thing does nothing to maintain her girlish good looks.

In fact, because of its location and because it sort of hangs there, our delicate little Daisy looks like a red-blooded American male. To the untrained eye, she could be considered the world’s first transgender cocker spaniel. Hey, we’re not judging; we just want her to be comfortable and healthy.

Even with all these ailments and her somewhat questionable appearance, Daisy is still the most lovable dog on the planet. If I were going blind, in a constant state of itchiness, and had some strange growth hanging from me, I’m not sure I’d still be wagging my tail at anybody. She does. Although technically, because she’s a cocker spaniel, it’s more of a nub, but the effort doesn’t go unnoticed.

I can only hope I have such a positive outlook on life when aging really starts inflicting some things on me. I can honestly say I’m already not dealing well with many of the things that come with seniority.

I guess that’s why God gave us dogs: to show us how we’re supposed to be, loyal and loving above all else.

There’s a saying out there that goes something like this: God, please help me be the person my dog thinks I am.

I’d flip that a bit and ask God to make me the person my dog deserves. If I can get anywhere close to that then I think I’ll be all right.

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