My Canine Love

Weekends, even when I’m inclined to linger in bed a little longer, Tetley, my Cairn Terrier, gets me up. Now that he’s an older dog, he’s more of a sleeper himself, staying curled at the foot of the bed later than he used to. But he’s still going before 9, sidling up beside me, nudging me with his wet nose. I can buy myself more lazy time by scratching his ears and usually, he’ll rollover onto his back so I can rub his belly. Soon, squirming upright, he shakes and starts pawing at me, sometimes punctuating his gentle punches with little guttural pleas to get the hell out of bed.

Tet color profile

Especially during these winter months, I’m inclined to hibernate, but Tetley gets me outside a few times a day – at least for a walk down the street. I feel the weather, taste the air, notice the changes of the seasons, the comings-and-goings of the neighborhood. I pay attention. This morning the roads were slick with black ice so I stepped carefully, walking only on the snow covered part of the street.  He pees his way up and down the street, sniffing and sometimes barking at phantom or real squirrels. These days, with the branches bare, I watch the birds – Nuthatches, Cardinals, Woodpeckers – darting around the wood. Mourning Doves were perched around like clergy waiting for their flock to show up on this Sunday morning – I still hear their insistent cooing an hour later. I look up at the sky – today, beautifully blue and clear after yesterday’s snow. At night, I watch the stars, where the moon is, whether waxing or waning. These little jaunts, I notice the world in a way I might otherwise not. Thanks to my beloved dog, these walks become a kind of meditation.

Tet on wintry walk

Tetley is getting old. Molly was in second grade when he entered our lives and now she is in college. He’s the only dog I’ve ever owned – my only canine love and as true a love as I have ever felt. I purposely forget his actual years – we’ve been saying ‘about ten’ for awhile now.  Small dogs can live quite long lives and I trust (and pray) Tetley lives to a very ripe old age. He’s still fit, although his teeth aren’t great and his breath smells like a swamp. He prefers not to have to leap up on the bed anymore, (I lift him) and he sports a distinguished white goatee. Recently, we’ve noticed he gets underfoot and I’m beginning to wonder if he’s just a tad blind. That’s okay – I’ll lead the way, aging too with my aching love for him.

tet glasses

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8 Responses to My Canine Love

  1. Erica terry Hines says:

    How sweet, has it been that long ? Wow where does the time go…. Love reading your blog,….. Terry

  2. Tricia says:

    And I love that you read it! x

  3. When an animal has shared your life for so long, they truly are a friend. And a non – judgmental one at that. I’m glad he’s still around for you. 🙂

  4. dianeprokop says:

    I share you’re canine love. My companions are 10 and 11 years of age and I can’t imagine a day without them.

  5. Tricia says:

    About the same as Tetley! I think they are also small gems like him.

  6. Noreen says:

    I love Tetley!!!

  7. Lea Sylvestro says:

    I love Tetley “peeing down the street” and the doves like clergy. I don’t miss walks on freezing nights, but I always appreciated velvet starry nights that I would have missed if not for our malamute Kody. Sigh…the love and companionship of a dog is a treasure. Kody was so wolfish and beautiful and I always felt it was a privilege to be her friend. You touch wonderful chords with this piece. XO

  8. Tricia, Tetley sounds like the perfect companion. And I have to admit, as a thin-blooded, cold-weather wimp from the south, I’d need some motivation to get me out for walks every day. Tetley sounds perfect for this. ~ James

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