November 15, 2010

life in dog years

I just knew he was dead.
It was way back on the day they were putting the drywall up
in the new house,
the whole loud and busy crew was working away at it.

I happened to see a crumpled black heap in the corner of my room,
Buster, taking a peaceful nap - amidst the chaos.
I couldn't believe that he had the audacity to come in the house,
he never had before.

I laughed at him and said his name.
No sleepy wag, no raise of the ears, nothing.
I said it again; and then a third time -loud- ;


He was too quiet, too peaceful.
My heart shinnied up my throat.
Panicked, I ran to him and threw my arms around his neck,
already telling him I was sorry, for anything, everything.

With that, his sleepy brown eyes opened, and his tail thumped.
He smiled, and yawned, and blinked - his eyes laughed,
if he really were an eighty-five year old man, he would have
probably slapped his knee; he seemed to think it was all a good joke.

The rest of the family gathered around, equally relieved;
they said things to him, but he never looked their way.

It dawned on us;
Buster was not hearing a word we said.

He's deaf.

The white whiskers, the increasing feebleness,
there have been plenty of reminders that our Buster-boy
is getting old.

He may be deaf, and he may have lost most of his bark,
but he's still the same old Buster on the inside.
He still gets that puppy-like spark when Autumn rolls around;
he's obviously decided it's his favorite season.
You can see it in his eyes.

And, he still has a dreadful habit of trying to give
me a big slobbery impromptu kiss anytime I get too close.
Usually mid shutter click...
Like I've said before - photo shoots with Buster
are somewhat of a fiasco. Uncooperative is a good word.



He's getting to be pretty old... Just turned 13 to be exact; lots has changed - but we love him just as much as we ever did. He's so loyal, so faithful, so incredibly loving and forgiving. We would wish for many more years with Buster, but treasure every single day we get.


Jill said...

Buster is so cute! He is reminding me of my sweet, old Golden Retriever, Abby. She is almost 12 years old and going deaf. I can't imagine a better dog than Abby. It will be hard when that last day with Abby comes...

We have to enjoy them while we can.

Amanda said...

I <3 Buster too...

Anonymous said...

Ours is getting old too. He'll be 12 this New Year's. He has a heart condition and the vet can't for the life of her figure out why he's still alive. I figure God knows we need him right now, but there have been so many times when I go downstairs and he doesn't move... and the panic starts to creep in... and I don't try to rouse him for fear he won't respond. He's also going blind as a bat–but he still looks at us with those puppy dog eyes.

Buster's beautiful. = )