Growing Old


It is too late for regrets, just be thankful you are old and not dead.

Funny thing that when you are young
and your life has just begun
you never think of that day
when your life starts slipping away
as the present is all fun and play
and the body reacts in a normal way
then one day what used to be fun
now takes more effort as aging has begun
the aches and pains and all the hard knocks
take longer to heal and are more of a shock
bathroom breaks come faster it seems
and walking past one the impossible dream
the hair is gone and now there’s a gut
no matter on how hard you suck
to try to make yourself look thin
for that is an unlikely dream
pretty girls are still worth the time
to watch them out of the corner of your eye
for to stare at them admiring their form
only gets you treated with scorn
and labelled as a dirty old man
though what it is that they don’t understand
that looking at them is all you can do
as age has left you a little askew
and things that used to work so fine
now are reminders of a different time
with physical pleasures a thing of the past
alas good things just don’t last
you sigh and walk slowly away
with thoughts abound of a long lost day
when girls looked at you with smouldering eyes
handsome and confident needing no disguise
not thinking that this day would come
and an old man in more ways than one
and that is about the extent of my life
which now resembles more of a strife
to get my body to work just fine
even though it takes more time
to crawl out of bed so cozy and warm
with the company of dogs who true to form
snuggle up in the night which is no mean feat
staying close to me to get the heat
that my body puts off to keep them warm
thinking that this is the norm
and is what dogs do in their natural way
to protect their hooman from going astray
the body may be weak but the spirit is strong
though it takes more effort to drive it along
it’s still worth the time that the effort does take
as even an old man has a future at stake
it’s not time to lay down and die
but to give it a shot and your best try
and to work through the aches and the pains
and be smart about what is possible to attain
as an old man still has his pride
in allowing his body to be his guide
if he can physically perform each task
then there is nothing left to ask
and until his dying day
this old man will do things his way…

Written 12/15/2019

And then there were two…


Mini,Be-Be,Manley and Fat Cat

Mini, Be-Be,Manley and Fat Cat on the couch…(All deceased).

Life has this horrible habit of sneaking up on you.  Just when you think everything’s going just fine, you got through Christmas, you did some real work on and around the house and now you’re getting all set for the start of the New Year and looking forward to another birthday.

And then, one of the dogs starts moping around and won’t eat anything. You know it has to be serious for this dog to turn down any form of food as she is an overweight, fat little Dachshund that delights in eating anything that the other dogs leave or that I happen to put on the floor in front of her.

BeBe is seventeen and a half years old of which I have had her probably at least fifteen of those years. I got her from a friend whose marriage was breaking up and she needed a home for her two Dachshunds and I ended up with one of them. We have between BeBe and myself, buried six of her buddies in the intervening years and now, the only ones left from the eight that were living at the same time are Richie and Ginny, both considerably younger and both rescue Dachshunds. We have gone from an eight dog family to a two.

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Be-Be on the left, Richie in the middle and their big friend, Danny (Deceased)

BeBe started to have breathing difficulties a couple of days ago and then stopped eating. I knew after having buried so many dogs over the years that her time was near and that I needed to make that short trip to the vets, once again. So, after making a big fuss of her and crying tears of sorrow for what I knew would be the last trip to the vets for this little girl, I called ahead and an hour later, put her in the car and kept her on my lap for the short drive.

When it was my turn to be seen, I stood up ready to go into the examination room, suddenly she gave a little moan, bent back her head and died in my arms. Dr Donop, forever the most sympathetic of doctors, examined her and just to be sure, gave her a sonogram and then pronounced her dead. The entire staff were very sympathetic as they boxed her up for me and Dr Donop carried her to my car.

When I arrived back home, the two remaining dogs both knew that something had happened to BeBe and both acted differently than they normally do. It was as though they were trying to pass along their own doggy sympathies for the loss of our mutual friend and housemate. They both paid special attention to me and both stayed close.

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Richie-the man of the house.

Richie, the male, helped me to dig a hole beside Abigail, Manley and Minnie who are all buried right next to the big pond. They each have a little doggie garden statue of their breed with their collars around them and the whole area is stacked with rocks just like a cairn. Now, I need to get another Dachshund statue for BeBe.

I would like to say that life goes on which of course it will. But it will be just a little emptier than before and there will be one less little mouth to feed and to look after. Losing a dog at any time is really tough but to lose two dogs in less than six months is heartbreaking.

Ginny the new girl

Ginny-a sweet little girl

There is sometimes a plus side to losing a pet. Things like not having to worry about a more aggressive dog like Abigail stealing the others food or chews or discovering that the “accidents” in the house are not so frequent. In the case of BeBe, she had developed a bladder control problem which I discovered when I made the bed the other day to find that the mattress was ruined and now I need a new one. It would not have been worth buying one until after BeBe had passed on but I had no idea nor did I wish for it to be so soon. This also means that the two remaining dogs can now go walking as a manageable group. On a more practical note with her gone, and with me eighty years old, it is one less worry for me if I should happen to die before the other dogs do and just a little easier to make “arrangements” for the future.

Abigail looking for attention

Abigail (Deceased 2015)

I will miss BeBe. We have been together for many years and seen other dogs come and go. It was not like she was super amusing like Richie or soft and cuddly like Ginny but she had her own attributes and a place in my heart.

Sleep well Beatrice. We will miss you.

BeBe looking Sleepy

BeBe – a sleepy little girl (Deceased 2015)