There is a special bond that develops between old men and old dogs. It’s different than the bond between kids and puppies or the bond between some women and those foo-foo yappy little creatures they try to pass off as real dogs. It’s not a master/pet kind of thing or a substitute child thing. It’s more of a soul mate thing, a blending of spirits that needs no naming, two individuals from different species that blend into one identity. Old men and old dogs have a lot in common which may explain this compatibility of spirits. They have seen their share of hard times, before they found each other. Neither one smells good when wet, they both track mud through the house. They tend to bark when irritated and growl when being annoyed. They are both guilty of scratching anything that itches no matter where or when said itch occurs.
There is a society of old men and old dogs that exists under the main stream of society’s ebb and flow. We see each other and smile because we know we’re brothers. Every Tuesday Telly and I make our weekly run to the Transfer Station and every Tuesday as we are driving the winding wooded road that is our favorite route we pass an older guy and his slightly overweight golden retriever. They are wandering along the side of the road in no hurry to get to any destination. They are sharing the journey, taking time to look at anything of interest along the way. It’s a different route than the one Telly and I take every day but the same journey.
I always wave to my brother old person, I don’t know his name or the name of his companion but it doesn’t matter, he’s my friend. I know that somehow he knows that there’s an old dog snoozing on my back seat and that he looks forward to our weekly wave just as I do.
This blending of canine and human spirits takes time which may be why it’s found among the older members of each of these species. It happens best after the hurry of middle age has past. I now have the luxury of having time to wander the back yard with my best friend and let him tell me his stories of the night passing of all the local critters. I talk to Telly on these rambles and he listens patiently.
My Queen, who I love dearly, has heard all my stories and is no longer surprised or amused by them. Telly always listens attentively, tipping his head from side to side, no matter how many times I tell them. When I work hard at some little project that the rest of the world will never notice, he is by my side helping and supervising. His brown eyes tell me what a great job I’ve done and how did I ever think it up and how skillfully I did it. He hops willingly into the car anytime I have to go somewhere. He never asks the destination or complains of boredom, if I’m going he wants to go too. I share all my secrets and frustrations with him, He listens with that old soul look in his eye and never advises or is critical. When I run, he runs. When I sit, he sits. When I nap, so does he. In the evening after a long hard day of strenuous senior citizen type activities, I haul my tired aching old bones to my recliner and settle in. Telly leaves his comfortable pillow bed, comes and lies on the hard floor next to my chair so he can be near me and I wonder what I’ve done to deserve a friend like him.
Thought for the week — I hope God judges on a curve.
Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.
Reach Dick Brooks at Whittle12124@yahoo.com.