I’ve officially stopped calling these weekly essays since I’ve been really sporadic with writing them. This is not a weekly essay. It’s just an essay that I’m posting during the week! I really wanted to write this essay so here goes.
A few years ago before the accident it was around this time of year; late Summer to early Fall. My family was at our lake cabin and everyone was preparing for a day in the sun and boat. I was ready to go (swimsuit on and heavy duty SPF applied to my pale white skin). So I sat on the front deck with my dog Tansy by my feet (this was a few years before Selby) and my sister’s King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Bella (@bellajocavalier) sitting on my lap. At this time I didn’t have a dog of my own because I lived in an apartment that didn’t allow them. Tansy was my parents’ dog but she and I considered her mine even though she didn’t live with me. Tansy was definitely getting older at the time and passed away nearly two years ago (less than a week before my car accident). She was completely blind due to glaucoma and she was starting to lose her hearing substantially (which was quite sad since she had come to rely on it so much).
My sister had gotten a puppy for her two kids and Tansy just basically tacitly ignored her. She would move her head away when Bella came near as if to say “I don’t see you” (well she literally didn’t see her, but you get what I mean). Presently I’ve seen Bella do the same thing to Selby. It must be the universal way older dogs deal with puppies. Since I was so used to Tansy not seeing and barely hearing I took real joy in seeing little Bella’s response to all the sights and sounds at the lake.
So even though I was left waiting for my family, I really didn’t mind. I sat and enjoyed watching Bella react and cock and turn her head at each sight or sound. Her ears would sway and flop as she turned her head quietly to watch a bird fly to a bird feeder. The sound of a loon call nearly set her orbiting in space 🚀 because it sounded so odd and startling to her. I truly loved every minute watching Bella watch and listen. I went into the rest of the day grinning ear to ear.
A few days ago I sat on the same deck waiting for my parents to go on a boat ride. The world had changed quite a bit in those several years. And more specifically my world had changed quite a bit. However, I was still able to sit on that same deck waiting for that same family enjoying the sights and sounds with a dog. Granted the dogs have changed. Tansy passed away but now I have my sweet little Selby. And my sister and her kids weren’t visiting the lake at the time so Bella wasn’t around even though when she is around there is a bit of a battle to see which dog will sit on my lap. She has seniority so Selby usually lets her win! And someone sitting on that deck had diminished senses only this time it wasn’t aging and blind Tansy it was me with my diminished hearing due to my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). And the puppy who was sitting on my lap and reacting to the sights and sounds of the lake wasn’t Bella, it was Selby (@selbysweetie). She still reacted to the birds flying to the feeder and flopped her even longer cocker spaniel ears back and forth at each noise with such velocity she nearly fell off my lap.
Even though those two days were separated by years of experience and some pretty major differences, the end result was the same. I still walked towards the boat ready for a boat ride smiling ear to ear.