Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Second childhood

It recently occurred to me that I haven't written about Ben the Wonder Dog in some time. He informs me this is an egregious omission and probably the reason the blog's readership has dwindled.

(We'll let him think that. . .  I don't have the heart to tell him it's really probably because I don't get off sit down on my fat you-know-what and write more often.)

Ben, who turns 15 in February, is growing old.

Or so we thought until about a month ago.

Most of Ben's year has been punctuated with long, deep naps -- so deep that we occasionally have to wake him up to let him know we're home. He struggles a bit more to get up from his blanket now, hind legs wobbling perceptibly. (Strangely, hopping up on the no-fly-zone sofas in the living room and guest room isn't a problem. Funny how that works. ). And occasionally we find he's wandered into the bathroom to stare at the tub.

(On the other hand, perhaps that isn't a true barometer of aging -- I wander into a lot of rooms and stare at random things. Check that off the aging list, okay?)

ANYWAY.  Earlier this year, we resigned ourselves to helping Ben age gracefully and comfortably in our home. Until now. The dog appears to be experiencing a second childhood.

These days, we are greeted in the morning by a canine senior citizen who bounces and prances around the condo barking to get on with his walk. He's also been known to bite and tug at his blue blanket in his fever to walk.

Outside, Ben literally lopes across green spaces in search of new smells -- and occasionally still stalks an unsuspecting squirrel. Our walks have gotten longer and longer instead of shorter and shorter and it's proving downright tricky to convince Ben it's time to go home.

And meal times? It's like we have a teen in the house. Ben fusses and frets -- punctuated with a few spoiled barks -- until food is delivered. . .  and then stands in front of the laundry room where his treats are located. . . until treats are delivered.

Always a grazer, who has left dog food in his dish almost his whole life, Ben is now a card-carrying member of the Clean Plate Club. Most mornings an empty dog food dish, edges scoured for renegade crumbs, greets us -- along with a hungry, reproachful side glance from the dog.

Ummm. You gonna eat all of that?
What's up with this second puppyhood? Our theories range from the possibility that this fall's cooler temperatures and damp mornings have hit Ben's aging sweet spot. . . or that the reoccurring appearance of the Most Adorable Grandchild in the World is a heads-up to keep moving or risk being attacked by a 13-month-old hurricane of curiosity.

And the purpose of this is........

Whatever it is -- we love it. And it appears Ben does too. Pesky teenager.

You know, youth is wasted on the young.
P.S. Sorry about the poopy pix. Technical problems!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for including an update on Ben. He's part of the family and must have his day on the Blog. BTW, my 11 year old cat eats all day and cries for more - all day long.