You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Greenon residents to vote on $54M school plan Tuesday

Old dog love: savoring the time


Many days she smells no better than an old blanket that’s been soaking in a bucket of sour milk for week.

Her body sports more lumps than a bride’s first attempt at making mashed potatoes.

Still, I look at her and know that I’m in love.

She is my 13½-year-old dog. Together, we’ve reached a bittersweet chapter.

I now know Old Dog Love.

Our story goes back to the year 2000. I was single and living alone when my house was broken into. Three days later, the thugs came back and stole my car off the street using a set of spare car keys I hadn’t realized they had taken.

The police shrugged their shoulders. “Lady, get a gun or get a dog,” was their big advice.

Since I’d never even held a gun, my choice was clear.

I headed to the Humane Society where I knew her the moment I saw her — a delicious ball of yellow fur rolling around showing off her pink belly. “Lab Mix,” the sign in front of the litter said.

“How very generous,” I’ve thought about that description over the years, realizing my dog is much more “mix” than “Lab.”

Turns out, needing some protection was just the excuse to lead me to one of the best relationships of my life.

We had Puppy Love, which is much like it sounds. A crush on someone who loves you instantly, unconditionally and ultimately unrealistically.

That led to Teen Dog Love where I realized my dog wasn’t perfect, needed guidance to stay out of trouble, but so fun because she was always up for adventure be it countless hours in the dog park, a swim in a river, or a trip to the beach.

And there’s been plenty of Full Grown Love, when it seems she has just always been here. She’s known me as the single career girl, met and sniffed out various beaus.

When I married last year, she effortlessly made the transition to Family Dog, somehow charming my previously non-animal loving husband. If we both are in the house, but in separate rooms, she makes a point to go lay by his feet, instead of mine. When I go check on them, she gives me that dog wink as if to say, “I got this.” My otherwise astute husband has no clue he’s been suckered into a special friendship.

My dog is 13½ now and I know our time together is shorter rather than longer. It’s in the way I give her back legs a boost to hop into the back seat of the car. It’s in the way our three long daily walks have been replaced by one. She much prefers her day-long snoring snooze fest in her self-created cave behind the couch in the den. It’s in the news that other dogs she played with in the park as a puppy have passed on.

I know in my head, the contract she signed to be on this Earth is shorter than mine.

Yet the idea of her passing on instantly fills my eyes with buckets of tears and makes it a little hard to breathe.

If you’re a person whose heart is being kept by a dog, I know you understand.

That’s why every chance I get, I drink in that stinky smell like it’s the world’s finest perfume and run my hands over her lumpy body.

It’s a case of Old Dog Love. And I got it bad.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Icons lost in one of Dayton’s most gut-wrenching murders 18 years ago
Icons lost in one of Dayton’s most gut-wrenching murders 18 years ago

This week marks nearly 20 years since the shocking death of one of the most dynamic and famous musicians in Dayton history.  Larry Troutman shot his brother and bandmate, talkbox pioneer Roger Troutman outside of Roger Troutman's Dayton music studio as part of a murder-suicide on April 25, 1999. Larry Troutman was later found dead...
When sending flowers just won’t do

Flowers. Don’t send them. My former colleague, Tim, lost his beloved Uncle Bill this week. People sent flowers. That’s what they do at times like these. Tim says don’t do it. Not because he didn’t adore his uncle. Oh, how he adored him. Still does. “He’s the man who influenced me to become a journalist,” he...
WASSO Kitchens Tour is Saturday
WASSO Kitchens Tour is Saturday

Some of Springfield’s hottest kitchens will welcome fans in this weekend. The 11th annual Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (WASSO) Kitchens Tour will highlight five different spaces, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The tour is a fundraiser with proceeds benefitting the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. “We&rsquo...
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast

  Katharine, the great white shark, has surfaced again in Florida waters, this time pinging off the coast just north of Port St. Lucie. Katharine, who has been swimming up the east coast of Florida since January, started her northward trek parallel to Lake Worth on January 13. In the months that have followed, she has moved up the coast as far...
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’
Woman claims Fitbit burned her arm after it ‘exploded’

A Wisconsin woman said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker “exploded” while she read a book, ABC News reported. >> Read more trending news  Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks when the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm Tuesday night...
More Stories