Canine musings

I'm just rushing off to Bluebird North and realized I had a half written newsletter to you that I hadn't yet sent. And now I don't even have time to read and edit what I wrote.
So I'm just going to send the sucker - mistakes, out of date weather and all. I'll write more in the next few weeks. I just wanted to make sure I've done due diligence in letting Vancouver folks know about tonight's Bluebird.
On to the words previously written early in the morning, in bed with a cup of tea....

Every year I drag my feet towards the end of summer, dreading the chill in the air - and when fall actually comes, I am in rapture. The air, the colours, the leaves, the light...all of it! (I wonder if part of it is that subconscious connection to the start of the school year which was always such an exciting time...even if it wore off by the end of the first week!). This year in particular, having summer hover so late over October was sweet anticipation. I took advantage of every summer day and stayed outside as much as possible. Culminating with a long kayak excursion around Cape Roger Curtis in my "rubber duckie" at dusk last week. It was sublime.

[Okay, I wrote that about a month ago. My romance with Fall is SO OVER!!!]

After 4 solid months of touring I've been reveling in being home - and with Julia back getting her masters at McGill, and Bill constantly working - home alone. My favourite state really. Well, there's always Alou - the dog, which really is much like still having a child at home. Louie is 16 ½ now - which is what?...about 115 in people years? He's definitely old. Still, he's in remarkably good shape. I've kept him really active with daily long walks, but he's there's no doubt that he's slowing down. He'll still run full speed to catch up - especially if it's down hill, but up hill is like walking with a slug on a leash. Though some of his senses have dramatically diminished, his sense of smell seems to have intensified. His tendency to beam zen like focus on the scent from one blade of grass for several minutes is both inspiring and grindingly irritating. And his heightened olfactory sensitivity seems to have broadened his palate considerably. He and I have definitely parted ways on the subject of what is edible. By now, anything that has ever been alive, or been previously consumed is fair game for him. This includes any matter that has biodegraded into a ball of dirt over centuries or is so stuck to the pavement that he has to scrape it off with his front teeth. Yesterday I was seen frantically yelling "drop it!!", as I helplessly watched him chow down on what appeared to be to be a long dead frog. I could have grabbed what appeared to be a leg dangling out of his mouth, but it was just too disgusting to take on. It's humiliating really. And why I even bother since he has never in his life responded to that command? Of course now he is pretty much deaf. Occasionally my shrill whistle will cause him to raise his head slightly with a "did I just hear something?" look, but it rarely actually serves to call him to me. This relatively new skill has however proved handy for catching cabs. that I read that passage back I can see Julia saying the same things about me in 25 years.

Part of me is ready to be done with having a creature I have to look after, but I know, when the inevitable end comes, I will be devastated and miss his companionship terribly. He's been Julia's surrogate brother since she was 7....two thirds of her life. So it will be a big adjustment. But hey - he's still here underfoot in the kitchen waiting for a morsel to drop, or to be pet and snuggled and cooed over, or standing and endlessly staring the wall, so I'm enjoying this time.


Julia GraffComment