If you read this blog with any regularity, you are familiar with my canine children. My doxies are old. Twelve years old. Oscar has always been the alpha male of the pack of animals here at the kampground. No democracy here, he has ruled his kingdom as a tyrant. He can be exasperating and annoying. He has been called many names ....... spawn of Satan and Osama are among them. I am quite sure he must think his middle name is Dammit. In twelve years we have yet to break his annoying habit of marking his territory.
His little wife-dog, Emmy is his polar opposite. Her sweet disposition and gentle nature makes her a favorite among my grandchildren. She broke her back at a young age and in her later years has become somewhat of an invalid. She has to be lifted onto the couch to sit next to me. She tolerates the indignity with as much grace and dignity as any regal being. She will remind me that she has been left out and I will rush to remedy the situation. Her whines can be annoying, but it is so easy to forgive such a sweet and tiny girl.
For about a year now Oscar has had trouble jumping up on the couch. He will whine loudly, but refuses to be picked up. His whine has to be the most annoying sound in the world. He is loud and obnoxious. He will approach and try and whine and cry. If I attempt to lean down and give him a hand up he will back off, out of my reach. If I get up and chase him (even Oscar will go only so far, as it will not end pleasantly should one run from me) and pick him up he will protest and wiggle the entire time. He has even jumped down to make another attempt to jump up. Like a recalcitrant toddler.
Oscar is as protective and loyal as he is annoying. He is fearless and will try to attack the largest of men or animal if he thinks his family to be in danger. He is a very handsome specimen and I love that dog. He is a one person dog and he chose me. Emmy is happy to accept the affection of all those who want to give it.
Just lately, I have noticed Oscar relinquishing his kingdom. He doesn't play catch with the same vigor. He was quite the canine athlete in his time and could not be outdone. I have heard the younger male dog give him a warning growl and have witnessed him backing down. It made me sad. He is now allowing the other dogs to dine along side him. Not too long ago, he would insist they all wait until he had culled all the chosen morsels before allowing the others to eat.
This morning when I brought my coffee to the couch to sit and man the laptop, he approached and made his presence known. Then waited patiently to be lifted to the couch. He has succumbed. He is old and he recognizes it. I picked him up and held him in my arms for a time. We had a talk while he licked the tears from face. I know what comes next and it makes me so sad.