The Three of Us

Over Christmas people were always asking me if I were going to be alone. Being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely, and, anyway, I wasn’t alone. 🙂

There are three in my family. It’s true that two of us are dogs. But…

Yesterday I went to the vet to get Dusty’s meds. There was a small old dog, (small meaning 40 pounds) black, white and tan, lying on the floor behind her person. Her person looked French He was short, light and Gallic, salt-and-pepper hair, slightly receding hairline, about fifty-five with sad brown eyes. The few lines on his face and the turn of his mouth said, “I’m worried.” He gave his dog a treat from the treat jar and waited for Maureen, the receptionist, to be able to get him in to see the doctor. Maureen was all alone on the front desk of this busy vet and contending with a persnickety computer. The person ahead of me was picking up antibiotics for her sheep.

As Maureen went to fill the bottle of pills for me, I went over to see the dog. She reminded me a lot of Mindy. I could tell she was quite old.

“Is this your friend?” I said to the man.

“We’re penpals.” Ah, he was funny.

“You write each other?”

He just grinned.

I petted her and asked her age. I learned she was 17. “What a sweet girl.” I scratched her ear.

“She has an infection on her foot.”

“I see that,” I said. Her right front foot was pink and inflamed. “She’s a wonderful beast,” I told the man. “What a sweet being. Old dogs just have a kind of wisdom.”

He nodded. His eyes filled with tears.

“Is she an Aussie mix?”

“Patterdale terrier,” he answered. I had not heard of that breed before.

Meanwhile, Dusty’s prescription was filled. Maureen said, “How about $72?”

I said, “I like that ‘how about’,” and smiled. I handed her my ATM card then thought better of it and gave her a credit card. “I might want to eat.”

I don’t know what happened next with “Jacques” and his dog. In his eyes the whole time we were interacting was very deep love for his dog and dread about what the doctor might say. No 17 year old dog has a long life ahead of them. I knew “Jacques” knew what I know, that I wasn’t alone for Christmas. All three of my immediate family was together.

I drove home hoping that all would go well for Jacques and his sweet dog and hoping, also, that afterward — because it will come — he will find another. ❤

12 thoughts on “The Three of Us

  1. I know my dogs (all four of them) are such an integral part of our family – if any one of them are ill, it sends our whole family into a panic. And honestly, I would rather spend time with my dogs, than most people, they are just better company!!!

  2. I know they get old much too fast. The best I can do with it is, like you, love them, do the best I can for them, and throw little prayers into the wind that they stay healthy and live long. So many people don’t understand why we have dogs when we barely have money for ourselves. I just smile and tell them, “They make us happy and keep us young.” They do, you know?

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