Wednesday, October 21, 2009

His 15th Birthday

I am in the middle of what I think of as the birthday/holiday season. From September to January I will have celebrated or have helped celebrate the birthdays of seven of my eight favorite people. Needless to say that with the holidays thrown in for good measure this is a busy time of year.

But not all birthdays need to be overblown events...the other night one of my best friends and I quietly celebrated his birthday. I decided to make him his favorite meal...hamburgers with potatoes. Its an easy meal to make, taking only twenty minutes. As I had a long day and that I knew that he was going to eat his special meal in one gulp I was tempted to go to the store and get something in a can for him...but...I thought...he had been a great friend to me this year and deserved something special.

So...dinner was made and it was consumed in one or two gulps before I could finish a chorus of Happy Birthday. My friend Joey is 15.

I hesitate to refer to him as my dog as I belong to him as much as he belongs to me. I know a lot of people think I am silly for feeling so passionately about an animal. In response I have decided not to take them or their views on the subject very seriously. I have found that a great test of someone's character is the ability to understand the bond that can develop between a man and his four legged companion.

After a close call earlier in this year my old friend is in fairly good health. His legs bother him and stairs are becoming more of a challenge. We no longer go for long walks. But each day I try to spend some time with him outside. I watch him sniff the bushes and the grass. He experiences each moment without a thought about the future and his lives a life without regret. While I know Joey and I are wired differently I have done my best to emulate him. I no longer mourn what we can no longer do together nor do I live in dread of that very sad, very inevitable day.

Today we sat together in the sun, happy and content.


  1. I can fully understand that bond with a four-legged and furry companion as I have it myself and appreciate it greatly.