August 16, 2008

When I Am Old

This poem has been around time and time again, especially in the dog rescue world, but it so accurately portrays me and how I feel about my dogs (and cats), that I had to share. If I knew who the author was, I would most definitely give credit to him/her, but after an exhaustive online search, I came up with only "author unknown".

WHEN I AM OLD

I shall wear turquoise and soft, gray sweatshirts and a bandanna over my long, silver hair, and I shall spend my Social Security checks on sweet wine and my dogs, and sit in my house on my well-worn chair and listen to my dogs breathing.

I will sneak out in the middle of a warm, summer night and take my Nero for a run, if my old bones will allow. And when people come to call, I will smile and nod as I walk out and show them my dogs and talk of them, and about them - the ones so beloved of the past and the ones so beloved of today.

I still will work hard cleaning their runs and mopping and feeding them, and whispering their names in a soft, loving way. I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat like a jewel, and I will be an embarrassment to all and my children, who have not yet found the peace in being free to have dogs as your best friends.

These friends who always wait, at any hour for your footfall, and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep, to greet you as if you are a God, with warm eyes full of adoring love and hope that you will stay and hug their big, strong necks, and kiss their dear, sweet heads, and whisper to them of your love and the beautiful pleasure of their very special company.

I look in the mirror and see I am getting old. This is the kind of woman I am, and have always been. Loving dogs is easy -they are part of me - accept me for who I am. My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives.

When I am old, this will be important to me. You will understand when you are old, and if you have dogs to love, too.

-author unknown

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