No, Ufi isn’t working with his harness. In his own way, though, Ufi is still guiding.
Ufi can still walk around the block. It’s a flat walk that he enjoys.
When we take the walk around the block, I bring my cane. I want him to enjoy himself. He knows the difference between waring his harness and not.
Yesterday, we were making our way around the block when Ufi started going slow. I was afraid he was getting tired. I thought he was going to lay in the grass for a quick rest; he has done that before on the walks around the block.
A few feet after slowing, Ufi speeded up and got slightly in front of me–just as he did so many times while he was working. Not understanding what he was doing, I started going faster too. I thought he wanted to finish.
When I started walking faster, Ufi cut me off by getting directly in front of me.
With him standing with his side blocking me, I stretched my cane in front of us. There was a long branch across the entire sidewalk.
Dying from cancer. Unable to move anywhere near as well as he once did. Ufi still wants to guide me. He still does his best to keep me safe.
Standing on the sidewalk, I dropped my cane and began petting him. Confronted with the depth of his love and the connection we share, I didn’t want to hold the tears inside.
After picking up my cane, I wiped my eyes. Then, I said, “Let’s finish our walk, U.”
Listening to him smell the grass, I kept imagining his body against my legs while he was keeping me from what he thought was dangerous. When he started walking again, I reminded myself of how lucky I am to still have such a wonderful friend.
Whatever time Ufi is able to share with me, I’m going to do my best to make sure he knows how appreciated and loved he will always remain.