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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Confusion of Age

We've had many dogs and a few cats as members of our household over the years.  Some dogs just showed up in our yard and announced that they planned to stay on with us.  The two cats were gifts, both having rather unpleasant ends.  Several dogs simply breathed their last while we were with them, either in the company of a veterinarian or with family at home.

Winston won the prize for longevity, living about 17 years.  He was a mix of several breeds, about the size of a beagle, with long golden fur and a brushy fox-like tail.  I am convinced that he was the grandson of one of our earlier dogs, but that's another story.  Winston began to get a bit senile near the end, wandering off into the street out of town one night, when he had been let out before bed time, and found by a neighbor, but again, that's another story.

These were the years when Charlie and I both were traveling to distant  parts of the globe, he to Russia and I to China, but seldom at the same time.  All that travel, which necessarily includes a great deal of walking and carrying heavy bags of purchases or pulling heavy suitcases through airports, took its toll on our skeletal structures, until at one time Charlie had some real back problems.  He had to move slowly and deal with pain in spite of good meds.  (Similar results for me took place years later and now plague me.)  So for a time Charlie stayed pretty much at home and limited his physical activity -- at about the same time our Winston was definitely beginning to age noticeably.

In chatting with a friend one day, she asked about Charlie's latest trip to Russia, and I mentioned the toll his traveling was taking on him physically.  Just prior to that I had commented on the change in Winston's condition.  "Well how is he now?"  my friend asked, in reference to Charlie.  I answered, thinking she meant Winston, "Well, the poor old thing.  He's gotten so he can't control himself and yesterday he pooped on our living room rug."   


  1. Oh how I can relate to small talk misunderstandings. That last bit is hilarious, Jean.