Tuesday, July 27, 2010

** If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Because of Tiger **

It's 4:40 AM, and I've been awake since 2:09 AM. Why? My much-loved dog, Tiger, let me know she needed to go outside. As much as I dislike being roused at such early morning hours, I'm happy she has the sense to come and get me.

We don't latch our bedroom door, for just that reason. She'll stand outside the door and make her little talking noise. It's nowhere near an actual bark. Within seconds, she pushes the door with her long nose, and it swings open. Hearing her is like a mother hearing her baby. It doesn't take much and I'm throwing off my covers and heading toward the stairs. Sometimes she ambles ahead of me, and other times she moseys along behind.

Lately, every now and then, she doesn't really have to go outside. I've decided she just wants some company. She'll lay down and roll over for a tummy rub. She'll follow me, but won't go outside. So, I'll sit on the couch for a while, turn on the TV with the volume really low, and just wait. After she goes back to sleep, I'll sneak upstairs, as if tiptoeing away from a napping child.

At 13 years old, I know her years/days are numbered. She doesn't hear well anymore. She takes meds for the arthritis in her hind legs, and she has a small, suspicious lump on her back. She's still the sweetest, smartest, best dog in the entire world.....or at least in my world. So, I'll continue to wake at all hours of the day or night, whenever she needs me, and for whatever reasons. That's just how it is with unconditional love.

"For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog." -- Roger Caras