Grief is a funny thing.
Or maybe not.
You think you’ve got proper protection then something bites you in the backyard.
Just like a big old mosquito.
I was outside playing with the dogs tonight when I got stung.
There laying on the freshly cut grass before me was my loving corgi Maddie. My girl’s close to 14 now and she was looking lethargic with her head down on the ground.
One of Maddie’s backlegs is lame, and now the second seems to be slowing down as well.
I joined her on my stomach anyway right next to her, and started snapping pictures.
But that usual magical spark was missing in Maddie’s eyes which was bringing me down even lower.
My girl’s expression reminded me of the words my paternal grandmother shared with me in her eighties. “It’s hell getting old,” Grandma would often say before she passed from Alzheimer’s a few years later.
I stopped and thought for a moment about about those I’ve lost in in my life, particularly in the last 3 or 4 years.
There once was a mother, one husband, and three sweet senior dogs.
Mom, my spouse Richard, and even one of the dogs had dementia. And yet they all managed to keep happy in spite of their illnesses.
Perhaps even happier than my late corgi Mariah and chi-doxie Greta who held on to their cognitive skills till the day each of them passed on.
I began to scratch Maddie’s soft belly for a while to calm her and to calm me.
Suddenly a mourning dove began to croon on the weathered fence post behind us, but it wasn’t a sad song at all.
Then a monarch darted and danced right past Maddie’s black nose demanding her attention before taking off for the barbecue next door.
Soon I saw joy and dignity return to Maddie’s face.
And I felt a growing smile on mine as my camera hooked just the shot I was looking for.
It’s definitely a keeper.