What makes an old dog keep going?
I pondered this as Pettigrew succumbed with his usual grace to yet another stomach ailment.
At this point, he doesn’t even rouse himself from the sofa when I stumble downstairs in the predawn darkness, cautiously flipping on lights before I step into a room. I no longer risk bare feet for my morning recognizance mission.
Once again, the living room took the brunt of the attack. I return with bags, paper towels, and my trusty bottle of pet odor/stain remover.
He lifts his head as a turn on all available lights and attack the mess, but otherwise doesn’t stir.
Yet on our subsequent walk he finds the energy to crouch, gathering strength in his hind legs before surging up and over our neighbor’s two-foot wall landing lightly in the ivy on the slope beyond.
Nonchalantly he sniffs, paces, noses amongst the leaves and ultimately leaves his scent, marking his terrain. He knows that the little dogs who live on this property can’t jump over the wall. They are reduced to yapping and barking at its base, kept from the hidden delights that Pettigrew can access.
It may be their property, but it is his territory. Nothing keeps him down. The night was the night. It’s a new day and he’s feeling good.
I marvel at his ability to live so fully in the moment.
Back home, I swipe my Headspace meditation app to life and as I still my breathing, let my eyes slide closed, and do my best to watch thoughts drift through my mind, I practice the lessons that are second nature to Pettigrew.