An ode to my dog, Chili, who today turned THIRTEEN.
Cloudy-eyed. Gray muzzled. A bit grouchy. Graceless gate. Hard of hearing. Clumsy. Yet, remains totally grateful. Loyal.
Chili is eccentric. A bit off plumb. Not overly-cuddly. Sometimes he’s even aloof. I know that he knows that I know he’s growing old. He’s becoming vulnerable and offering limitless trust. He will grumble as I hoist him up in to the truck, but then look at me knowingly that I’ve helped him along.
Sometimes he’ll still join in with Ollie on the hunt for bunnies. His eyes alight, tail a-twtich. Bloodlust eyes. Other times, he’ll stay along the trail with me and trod along, listening intently to Ollie’s barks as he follow’s the bunny trails, as he has done so many time’s before.
Kafka wrote that the meaning of life is that it ends.
Among animals, only humans are said to be self-aware enough to comprehend the passage of time and the grim truth of mortality.
I have come to believe that as they age, dogs comprehend the passage of time, and, if not the inevitability of death, certainly the relentlessness of the onset of their frailties. They understand that what’s gone is gone.
“When we watch a dog progress from puppyhood to old age, we are watching our own lives in microcosm. Our dogs become old, frail, crotchety, and vulnerable, just as Grandma did, just as we surely will, come the day. When we grieve for them, we grieve for ourselves.” – unknown