Ah the joy of owing dogs. Sometimes our canine friends can give us inspiration even when they`re being as bad as a dog can be. Case in point - our thirteen year old yellow Lab, Poe, who suffers from hip dysplasia and yet can manage to find ways to get herself in trouble as if she were still a pup! Yesterday morning our Grand Dame went outside in the wee hours to heed Mother Nature`s call, along with our other two dogs, Trinity, our black Lab, and Tinker, our beagle. It was very early, perhaps ten after four, and I had yet to get my zombie cure into me. As I sipped on coffee the dogs were out doing what dogs do, which, in this instance, is climbing onto the picnic table and dumping a large tub containing deer scraps onto the ground.
It`s deer rifle season here in Pennsylvania, and my brother-in-law had bagged a doe on Saturday. Thankfully all the entrails had been left in the woods, but all the other assorted renderings from rib cages to fat, had been tossed into a large blue barrel by my husband and my brother-in-law. The hide would be sold for a few bucks (There`s a witty pun in there somewhere) and the rest were to be taken on the mountain for the skunks, opossums and raccoons to find. There is very little for the wildlife left now.
It seems our old, arthritic dog, the same one that needs help getting into our truck, found the fortitude to climb onto the picnic table and scatter a feast, not only for herself, but for the other dogs as well. Of course, while this was occurring, I was staring at the walls, hair askew, trying to get as much java into me as I could as quickly as I could. After realizing how long they had been gone, I started calling and finally the pack came back to the house, all licking their lips. When the sun rose, and my brain was filled with the rush of coffee, I saw the scattered offerings and sighed. I knew someone would pay the piper. When Mister got home, I showed him the carnage and he argued up and down that it must have been a bear. Poe was too old to climb up on the table as she had done many times in her younger days.
After careful crime scene investigation, the muddy dog prints on the top of the table showed my spouse inconclusively that it was a dog, and a large dog, that done did the deed!
Sure as shooting, Madame Poe has a terrible case of rumble-belly this morning. You know the sound of a gut churning and rolling over itself? It was that grumbling sound, accompanied by Madame Poe scrubbing on the hallway walls (Don`t ask, it`s something she has done for years when she wants out) that both my husband and I woke up to this morning. I have scolded the dog, myself and my husband soundly. But this morning, as I was drinking my zombie cure, I had a thought. Given the hour, I was impressed by having a thought at all, let alone a deep one! As Madame Poe`s belly gurgled and bubbled it came to me that even though the old girl had been very bad, she also has shown me something pretty important.
She has shown me that despite her age, her sore hips and arthritic joints that she is still willing to climb to reach her goals. She isn`t letting a little thing like old age stop her from getting what she wants, even if what she wants makes her suffer afterwards. This member of the silver-muzzle clan was determined not to let her age impede her. That`s a lesson I think many of us who are now over the fifty birthday candles milestone can take to heart. Just because it might take us longer to get to the top of the table then it used to doesn`t mean we shouldn`t try.
Thank you, Madame Poe, and your rumble-belly, for reminding me to never give up scaling the picnic tables of life.