Vagaries and Indulgence

Even when you think you know where you're going, sometimes you end up somewhere else. That's what happened to me today!

Vagaries and Indulgence

Some days, you wake up intending to head in a specific direction but find yourself somewhere else entirely.

That's what happened today when I sat down to write this column.

There is so much going on in the world that needs comment, yet my previous intent changed a few moments after having my first coffee.

Then, our dog Remy got off his bed and limped up beside me.

His limping is a new thing, and the vets are unsure if it's arthritis or some type of nerve damage. While he doesn't appear to be in pain (do dogs ever?), you can tell he is uncomfortable.

Remy is our third Golden Retriever and the best dog we have ever had. This is likely because we are better dog owners now than previously. In any event, he is an extraordinary animal.

Remy is a reminder of how unconditional love begets more love. His nature is one of total peace, and he harbours no ill intent toward any living thing. Even the ducks encountered on our daily walk aren't worried about Remy, and he has never bothered them!

Remy instinctively understands the pecking order in his tribe. As such, he devotes his full attention to my wife whenever she is around. That's when he is happiest. When she leaves, he always wants to go too. If he can't, he sits looking out the window, faithfully awaiting her return.

That's not to say he doesn't interact with the rest of us. He considers one of our lads his 'brother' and equal, while our youngest (now 19!) is somehow relegated to junior status. I may come in some way behind that!

Remy has been a very important part of our family for a decade now and is showing the first signs of age. While ten is not particularly old for a Golden Retriever, seeing him limp around reminded me of how lucky we have been to have him in our lives. I am hoping he is still around for a while.

It also made me think of how we will have to make a difficult but most likely compassionate end-of-life decision at some stage in the coming years. I have been in that situation with our previous dogs and handled it easily.

When that day comes, it will be different with Remy. Undoubtedly, he has been a pampered pooch and perhaps that has convinced him he is part human. Sometimes, he could be, too, as he truly is an integral part of our family.

I hope he recovers soon from his current ailment and we can enjoy his company for many years because he is such a big part of our lives. I can scarcely imagine a day without him mooching around the kitchen or letting us know (at precisely 6 pm) that it is time for his dinner.

Trust me, this dog is the Rolex of animal time. Even with the change to daylight saving he sounds the dinner bark at precisely the same time every day.

Anyway, from starting the day intending to opine on what is going wrong with the world, I end up writing about how much joy and love an animal has brought into our lives.

Such are the vagaries (and indulgences) of life.

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