The Sadness of the Dog

Joe – click to enlarge image – click back arrow to return to post

Long-time readers know all about Joe, from his hosta adventures, his shameful Bubbles White Schmeltz adventure and as cover boy for LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL. So here’s the thing: Joe is getting old. He’s probably 11 or 12 now. He’s a rescue dog, so I’m not certain, but it’s around that.

Joe still acts a lot like a pup. He gets into trouble in an amusing number of ways. He barks at people he knows perfectly well and is as likely as not to ignore strangers. On an SAT test, the correct answer would be Joe is to Deer and Rabbits in the Garden as Politicians are to Lobbyists.

But. There are more white hairs around his muzzle than there used to be. He hasn’t stopped jumping up on people because he’s finally been trained but because he has arthritis in his hind legs. He relishes his food more in anticipation than he does in fact.

I’ve spoken to Oldest Grandson, whose dog he really is, and Oldest Grandson has asked me to take the dog to the vet for release when I feel the time is right. He doesn’t want us to drag the dog through treatments or pain or debility.

But when is the time right? It’s hard for the dog to get up, especially when it’s cold. But, once up, he runs and frisks and leans against me for petting. When is the time right?

When is the time right?

WRITING PROMPT: Imagine a character with this question in his or her life, about an animal, a loved one, an enemy, him or herself.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Sadness of the Dog

  1. Jane

    November 10, 2011 at 10:14am

    Hi, friend. I think Joe will tell you when he’s ready. Doesn’t sound like he is now. Hope.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Ginny

    November 10, 2011 at 11:16am

    Sounds like #1 Grandson is wise beyond his years. I think he must get it from his GrandMA. ♥ …and I second Jane’s advice. Pets to Joe!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 10, 2011 at 2:28pm

      #1 Grandson is a very wise young man. I got Joe some special-good doggie treats today at the grocery. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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