By John Kitsco
Published on 09/25/2012
Old dogs and people have much in common. Sandy, my wife and I sat up late just talking about memories over the last 14 years...and perhaps how we take for granted and even forget that dogs and people one day must leave.....

How would you know her? By the bark? By the big beautiful brown eyes?By the gentle nudge when someone in the family was not feeling well...
Our loyal friend, our sweetheart doggie, our companion, Now at the age of 14, kidneys slowing
failing, cataracts making it difficult to see and even
her hearing is not the same. But with those big brown eyes I can almost hear her say in doggie language - I am an old dog, but a good dog. And yes, yes you are Sandy, an old dog but a good dog.

And now my wife and I sit quietly with Sandy - gently breathing in her cozy doggie bed in the corner of the living room. My wife captures my attention with a reminder that perhaps its time...
yes perhaps its almost time....and tears roll down my face. I acknowledge that our poor old friend has
not been eating and wobbly on her legs. I have to rouse her in the morning to get her  outside for her usual constitutional...and the Vet had some difficulty with clearing one of her anal glands.

And yes, I know we need to talk about this and be ready...for perhaps its almost time...but thats our cuddly old Sandy, who still puts her head in my lap
as  we drive to the cottage. And I question my wife, dear, why is it old dogs and people need to go away.
She listens but does not she knows that I know its a matter that will crop up again soon.

Its harvest time in Alberta. I seem to recall how we would take Sandy to visit Mom in the hospital after she lost a leg. And Sandy would go from patient to patient as though on a mission. And people seemed to enjoy her presence. Sandy seemed to have this gift of visiting old people and sharing their pain, aging like herself....She has this gift for making people smile.And as dogs go, she is a real special
character, with her own likes and dislikes, even her
own fears.....She would cuddle and share popcorn with the kids, sit and listen to the wolves and coyotes at the cottage and I just know she would draw comfort from us as drew comfort from her.

And yes, one day soon it will be time. We follow the road of life and our special dogs are close by. I recall a winter day when I decided to not follow the trail but go up the hill through the woods. And coming across four large coyotes, Sandy stood quiet, with her head to the side. I quietly and quickly grabbed and broke a branch and that scared the coyotes off. Sandy looked at me though to say, thanks pa...

Last week at the lake Sandy went missing for a while. I was working on building our greenhouse and my wife was in the garden. I walked the trail where we usually walked with Sandy and sure enough, she decided to travel this trail alone...Or perhaps with a butterfly, bee or bird travelling along.  I was so happy to find her and we walked the rest of the trail together.

Time may be at hand, but we shall give Sandy the patience and dignity to leave only when she is truly ready....until then, she is an old dog....but a good dog....