|Blackie Duke and Mom|
When I was born, I joined a middle aged furry brother, Blackie Duke, who was a Labrador Retriever. He was just the first of my furry siblings; I never have had human ones.
My mom was a "crazy dog lady" long before it became "fashionable." My canine siblings enjoyed birthday parties that rivaled my own.
She was a lifelong supporter of animal welfare and, in fact, all of her dogs were rescues.
Mom passed away suddenly this past Saturday afternoon. By now she's had many a joyous reunion with all of her dog children and dog grandchildren.
I dedicate the following poem to the memory of my dog loving mom. Except for the sweet wine - she spent her money on dog treats - she could have written this herself.
When I Am Old
I shall wear turquoise and soft gray sweatshirtsand a bandana over my silver hairand I shall spend my Social Security checks on sweet wine and my dogsand sit in my house on my well-worn chairand listen to my dogs breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer nightand take my dogs for a run, if my old bones will allowand when people come to call, I will smile and nod as I show them my dogsand talk of them and about them.The Ones so Beloved of the Past and the Ones so Beloved of Today.
I still will work hard cleaning up after them and mopping and feeding themand whispering their names in a soft, loving way.I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat, like a jeweland I will be an embarrassment to alland my family, who have not yet found the peacein being free to have dogs as your Best Friends.
These friends, who always wait, at any hour, for your foot falland eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep,to greet you as if you are a god.with warm eyes full of adoring love and hope that you will stayand kiss their dear sweet headsand whisper to their very special company.
I look in the Mirrorand see I am getting old.This is the kind of woman I amand have always been.
Loving dogs is easy, they are a part of me, accept me for who I am.My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives.When I am old this will be important to me.You will understand when you are oldand if you have dogs to love, too.