This I Believe

Jo Beth - Tampa, Florida
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe there is nothing better than the love of an old dog. We have two old dogs a 16 year old Cocker Spaniel and a 14 year old mutt from the pound. We have had both dogs since they were puppies and I can say with certainty that their later years have been our best years together.

Old dogs snore- and when I wake up in the morning I am comforted by the low rumbles of sound sleep that come from both the foot of the bed and the floor and fill the room. Old dogs don’t hear very well so fireworks, the UPS man, and thunderstorms have ceased to be an issue in our house. Old dogs are not good watch dogs, as you have to wake them up when you arrive home. But once you do, their tails wag as enthusiastically as any young pup’s.

Often when out for a walk or a ride in the car, people we meet will inquire about them. When we give their ages we are often met with looks of surprise and a sort of knowing sympathy that our time together is limited. We know this but we also know that we have had the gift of learning to appreciate the best things in life together like a walk, a nap in the warm sun, and a ride in the car.

Since I began writing this essay, we lost the Cocker Spaniel. Now, faced with the thoughts of going through the puppy phase again, my belief that old dogs are best is even stronger. My guess is that we will get another puppy and we will enjoy the fun and exuberance that comes with youth. But I believe I will be looking towards the day when the fuzzy face that greats me at the door is starts to turn gray.