eva in the creek
Eva is fading. my labrador of fourteen is mostly deaf now, sometimes confused, and her hips are giving away with increasing frequency. she moves carefully; considers 2 steps down for what seems an eternity before heading out to the yard. She has had many a crash lately - too quick of a turn and she finds her back end down, hip hitting hard, looking embarrassed somehow. She turns back to see if we saw that, a sad face that suggests she worries we might think less of her, that we might not remember her glory days as a young athletic dog.
This is a bittersweet time. I run my hands over her now lumpy body, comb her to silky perfection, snuggle her muzzle, whisper sweet somethings into ears that cannot hear, but know. I squeeze her little feet that have always reminded me of the buds of magnolias, and rub her sore hip areas. i am delighted when she stretches out her gams for me to massage them as well. She rubs her smiling face back and forth into the bed in an action i recognize as content. Every second is precious and i am really looking at her, more than i ever have, to sear her image into my heart. Saving things to store in my minds eye that no photograph could ever capture.
There are not many areas where i can look at my life and say i did (whatever) as best i could. But as far as raising and caring for a dog, I can honestly say that i have no regrets with the life that Eva has had with us. Our sweet girl. The ice storm provides an opportunity for our little family of man woman and dog to huddle up together inside and appreciate our beauties however impermanent they may be.