I don’t even know where to begin the list of what is physically wrong with Old Dog. Her belly is covered in those fatty deposits (I think they’re called lipomas); she still has a match to the large one on her rump that we got removed four or five years ago (at this point the surgery to remove the one on her neck would be worse than the lump itself, which does not seem to bother her at all); she’s still on pain medication and has responded to it so well I plan on keeping her on it forever; I think she’s working on a good set of cataracts; her ears have always been infected, it seems; and now she’s gone deaf.
But she’s so good, and so sweet-natured. And it really is kind of funny. I mean, it’s not funny, but you have to laugh about it. She’ll suddenly sit up, not facing me, and start barking. And barking. And barking. And not stop. Yelling at her, surprisingly, does nothing. This morning I went and put my hand on her to stop her barking, and she jumped about a foot in the air. By the way, she was steadily barking at a piece of furniture. I always thought that chest of drawers was a little shifty.
It’s getting hard to tell what she wants. She’s always come and stood by me when she wants something, and I’ll go through the litany of “do you want to go out? Do you want some fresh water? Do you want some attention?” and she’ll usually start moving when I get to the right thing. Now she just keeps staring at me, as if I’m not doing my job. The other day I stood over her, rested my neck on her head, and asked if she wanted to go out, because she was just standing in the kitchen, not going anywhere. She wagged her tail and went to the back door, so I guess she could feel the vibrations of what I was saying, even if she couldn’t hear me.
And it’s awfully hard to get her to stop scratching in the middle of the night, now.