Watching Emma Get Old

Emma waring an Oregon Duck hat
In Introducing Emma I shared the story of how a lovable great Pyrenees showed up in Mom’s yard one morning. Nearly three years later, “the beautiful white one” as I call her has made a special impression on those of us lucky enough to love her.

Emma’s always been lazy. It seems to be getting worse. She spends most of her time on the couch or in a hole in the yard. Sometimes, she doesn’t even eat her breakfast.

This morning, as I was getting ready to exercise, I got the sense that she was sad. I let myself feel guilty because I hadn’t scratched her tummy since Friday.

Waring my workout gloves, I sat on the floor and began scratching. Emma responded by making her usual noises, insisting I hold up her leg and scratch under it, and butting me with her head if I stopped scratching. If I could have forgotten my fears about her getting old, sitting with her would have seemed normal.

Later, Mom suggested we take the dogs on a longer walk than usual. As soon as Mom asked Emma if she wanted a walk, Emma came to life.

Emma seemed to love her longer walk. Listening to her sniff and touching her wagging tail was good for me. Still, I wish we knew her age. I’d love to know her medical history.

So many of us have dealt with a beloved animal aging. We all know how difficult and sad the process can sometimes become. For now, I’m going to do my best to focus on the fact that Emma’s not much different yet. Focussing on the differences will only make me sad and cause me to struggle to enjoy whatever time we have left with our sweetheart.

As I finish writing this, I’m listening to her snore. I know she’s happy from her walk and glad she got a long tummy scratch. Its these moments when you know a special animal is content and happy that make loving animals so great.

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