Monday, July 18, 2011

"I want a feeling for a dog."

The Song: "Dog," El Perro del Mar. Words & music by Sarah Assbring (El Perro del Mar). Track 5 of El Perro del Mar, 2006.
When/how acquired: Gift CD, 2009
Listen/watch here.

Sarah Assbring, the sole member of El Perro del Mar (Dog of the Sea), is Swedish, and while I know her English is better than my Swedish, I wonder why the songs on this album are written in a language that is obviously not her own. Then again, would we buy pop music recorded in Swedish? Possibly not, although the friend who gave me this CD probably would and has.

Anyway, this is a nice, bouncy chorus that's been running in my head all day, because Dizzy does not seem to be feeling well at all. I hope it's just the heat, which is brutal for Maine (although, in only the high 80s, would seem gentle in Washington or Los Angeles). Dizzy didn't get up until after 9:00 this morning, and is currently strategically positioned to catch the cross breeze between the fans in my living room and my bedroom.

I want to believe that Dizzy's life is a good one and mostly cheerful. He always seems happy to go out, happy to get a treat, happy to go for a ride. He's much slower than he used to be, though, and gets confused about things. His eyes are a little cloudy, and I'm not sure how well he hears any more. I've just made an appointment for his annual checkup, in two weeks, and found myself tearing up over the phone, just talking about the fact that he's suddenly an old dog.

The Pedigree Dog Age Calculator says he is between 82 and 89 in dog years. The vet's been saying for a while that Dizzy's in great shape "for an old guy," but until quite recently I've been able to forget that he's aging much more quickly than I am, and will not be with me forever.

I don't think he knows. I don't think dogs are that self-aware. Yesterday I took him down to the river and let him wade for a while, and he was perfectly happy. He wanted to say hi to everyone and sniff things and roll in the grass. At some point, the bad days will outnumber the good, and it'll be time to say goodbye. I hope I recognize it when it comes, and don't wait too long just because I'm not ready.

I'll never be ready.


Claire said...

It's hard. This might be too tough, bu I don't know if you ever saw Gene Weingarten's article about his old dog (which I believe is an excerpt from his book): Something About Harry

AnswerGirl said...

That's beautiful. I recognize a lot of that. Part of what's got Dizzy down this week is that his best dog friend, Casey, moved away last week. Dizzy still stops at her driveway every morning, waiting for her to come out, until I have to drag him away. I don't think he'll forget her.

Anonymous said...

Dogs never seem to feel old in the same way humans do. Three nights before Molly passed away at the best-guess age of 16 1/2 years (112 or so in people terms), we played "chase" in the back yard.

Enjoy all the time Dizzy has, which most likely a good bit.

-- Ed