Dog. Tired.

I am worried about Ollie.

OlgarageSorry to get all into this, but like a lot of older dogs, he has begun to lose bladder and bowel control in the house. Any house he is in, which has numbered three in the last month. Yes, that situation is as attractive as your imagination suggests it is . . .

It is a significant stress, for him and everyone around him. I admit I haven’t taken this development well. I bark at him sometimes when the situation is unfolding right before my eyes, especially in someone else’s home. That isn’t right. I need to stop. Ollie is a dog. He doesn’t mean it, doesn’t know he’s doing it or can’t help himself. And I take it personally, as if I am the incontinent offender. How ridiculous is that? Like Ollie, I may need an examination, too.

I got rid of every area rug – truthfully, I just didn’t replace the ones he ruined in the kitchen — so the hardwood cleanup is easier. I am obsessed with getting and keeping him outside as much as the weather permits, with utility room access and his water bowl. He cries and whines. Friends say bring him in, he’s crying. Well, I am crying for my buddy.

His cataracts are worsening and typical lab arthritis or dysplasia make navigating the steps to my bedside to sleep each night difficult. The irony is Ollie prances like a pony by the door when he sees me grab the leash or a plastic bag, knowing what is in store. If we go to the field and no other dogs or people are around, he chases down the bouncing lacrosse ball like it’s the most important thing in the world to him. The joy in that is palpable.

Yet those who love him are on constant edge, I am sad to say. Ollie’s world is closing in on him, by necessity. When I am away, and the dog sitter texts an update regarding a mess they walked into and then did their best to clean away, above and beyond the call, well, it breaks my heart.

Ollie has a quirky personality — unknown fears and behaviors were embedded in him before I got him — and has always been a handful, especially these last few years. And yet he has been indispensable throughout. And I know we are not alone in this challenge; the web, as ever, is full of similar anecdotal stories, advice and results. I will keep scouring for guidance. The vet will continue to be consulted. Vigilance is demanded in an effort to ease everyone’s burden.

Aging has its advantages, but also its poignant challenges. Human or canine, it makes no difference, the life changes come and you just have to deal, bottom line.

This is one big change and challenge.

I am sorry, and worried, for my best friend.





It is difficult to write about something you do understand.

I do not understand the problem we have with police shooting people, and people murdering police. And disturbed or inflamed or deranged people mass murdering people in very closed quarters, fish in a barrel.

I do not understand making your very own personal bomb, putting it into a backpack and leaving it to explode on a jammed city street.

I urge my kids to be optimistic, not pessimistic. Hopeful about their friends and their future and the adventures they are pursuing and have laid out for themselves.

I run out of words for my kids.

I am going to walk my dog and breathe a little. Think a little more about the vagaries and, yes I will try, the blessings of life. Picture in my head the Dallas officers down and hear again the shotgun blasts ringing through the downtown center.

It IS a wonderful life — except when it is horrifying, terrifying and unfathomably evil.

I’m sorry to be that way.

I just don’t understand.