Whenever I am home and chance to look down at the floor – some version of this is what I usually see:
My Dog Three. She is going on 15 years old which is really old for a dog her size. As I have mentioned before, she is deaf, almost blind and fairly senile. She’s also got some kind of doggie Parkinson’s, so she trembles a lot. Her back legs give out on her at times, and if I accidentally tug a little too hard on the leash, she topples over. But she can still chase the cat and make it all the way around the cornfield, even picking a little fight with an unimpressed cow along the way.
She’s always been a quivery, hypersensitive thing, but in the past half year, it has gotten more noticeable. If she is not sleeping in her bed, she is always within a meter or so of me – usually next to my desk. Whenever I get up to do something, I hear her sigh and drag herself up to follow.
When I go get a glass of water from the kitchen, there she is. If I stay longer at the sink –doing dishes, for instance – then she comes up and stands directly behind me. I feel her leaning against the back of my knees.
When I come up from the basement after doing laundry or something, there she stands at the top of the steps.
Even when I go to the bathroom, she comes and stands guard. If I don’t close the door completely, she pushes it open with her snout and I see this:
I fully realize that those of you out there who are not dog-people will probably find all this just a bit creepy. She has always looked scarier than my other dogs and old age has not exactly made her more attractive. But for me it has become normal – even comforting – to be stalked this way. It’s a little sad, and, somehow, so lovely.