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I lost my closest friend a week ago. Although we don’t normally describe a dog as a friend.
But over the last 12 years, I probably spent more time with her than with any human being. She was always happy to take part in whatever I might be doing. Always ready for a walk or a hike, a swim or a car ride. To anywhere. She listened to my
musings without contradicting me or correcting me. She seemed to prefer my company to anyone else on earth.
“Friend” almost seems too weak a word for her.
Her name was Phoebe. A Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She adopted my wife and me when she was two. And from then on gave us total devotion.
But age caught up with her. Joints that once could run and swim all day developed painful arthritis. By the end of her life, she couldn’t put any weight on her left front paw. Her right hind leg tended to collapse without warning, leaving her sprawled awkwardly on the road, or tumbling down the stairs on her back.
We knew her time had run out. We made an appointment with the vet.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: dog, death, Phoebe
My dog is going deaf. At thirteen and half, she’s earned it -- that’s a ripe old age for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
First we noticed that she no longer came running to greet us when the garage door opened.
Then she didn’t hear the doorbell ring.
And she didn’t come when I whistled.
When a Chessie doesn’t respond to the word “Food!” we knew something was seriously wrong with her hearing.
Her deafness has affected our relationship. She now ignores commands that she used to obey, if reluctantly. Then she looks puzzled about why we’re upset with her. She apparently never developed the skill of lip reading.
Once, when we had conversations on our walks, she didn’t know what I was saying. Now, she doesn’t even know I’m saying anything.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: dog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, deafness
Tags: letter, dog