Oh, what a beautiful morning!

The sun is not shining because it rained all night, off and with a lot of lightning and thunder. Although our light dimmed briefly, we never lost power. Oddly enough, we were watching the weather when the main storm was passing. They were saying that the storms hustling south to north through Massachusetts were going to drop the humidity and the temperature.

For the next four or five days, we are going to have normal temperatures in the low seventies with more or less normal amounts of humidity.

Considering it was too hot yesterday to make a simple trip to Garry’s barber and finally get a proper trim for his head — because Garry, who had been outside cleaning up after the dogs — said “It’s just too hot” and that, from Garry is a real statement.

Garry likes warm weather. Garry likes hot weather. But this weather? Technically, it was just 96-degrees yesterday, but with almost 80% humidity, and not a breath of breeze, it felt well over 100-degrees.

Air has been like hot soup. The dogs refused to go out. Too hot.


Bonnie, it turns out, has been resisting going out because she is nearly blind. We knew she was going blind for a couple of years. She has a kind of chronic dry eye that even though we put drops and clean her eyes out four or five times every day, one eye is completely clouded up and the vet says it is unlikely she can see anything through it and the other, while still functional, is rapidly developing a serious cataract and it won’t be very long before she can’t see.

She is 11 years old. We have had her with us since she was a mere 9 weeks old, a rescue from a puppy mill. The better news? She is a bit pudgy, but not excessively. As far as Dr. Marcy is concerned, she is in fantastic shape for her age.

For her age.

I hate that wording. I’m not fond of it when it’s about me, but it gives me the cold shivers when it’s about one of the dogs. She has reached the end when “stuff comes up.” Lumps and bumps. She’s a great eater and basically, a very happy little dog, but she is getting old.

I hate it when they get old. It’s so soon. Wasn’t it yesterday I stood in the freezing, snowy yard at three in the morning begging Bonnie to DO SOMETHING so frozen mama could go back to bed?

She loves the snow. She was tiny, yet she bounced through it like one of those high-bounce rubber balls. She still loves snow. But not rain or heat.

We took in the Duke originally because Bonnie had become so inactive we felt her lack of vigor would take years off her life. She and the Duke have formed a real bond. He goes up and down the steps with her, apparently (on some doggish level) aware that she can’t see properly. No depth perception. He pushes her in and out of the doggy door.

With Duke around, she is much more active. The Duke makes her play with him. She doesn’t just lie on the sofa anymore. She plays and this is a good thing.

Duke shepherds both Scotties up and down the stairs, even though there isn’t a speck of shepherd in his Asian breed mix. He looks like a Shih Tzu, but he’s twice the size and he has a funny squashy, uneven face, one ear up, one ear down. Visually, he’s a dead ringer for a Papillon — except he is very much larger. But he has that face, minus the one downward-pointing ear.

The Duke

Meanwhile, against all odds, he shepherds both Scotties and us. He is always inches from Garry or me when we go anywhere. If it’s the bathroom and we shut the door, he lies across the threshold and waits. If we are off to bed, he settles in on the floor across the doorway. No night visitor will pass him by.

Duke and Bonnie!

Every night. On the wood floor. It is not that he is velcro on us. More like we are velcro on him. I feel like I should put a bed in the hall for him, but the hallway is really narrow. I’d trip and fall over it.

He wants my coffee and muffin, though first and foremost, he wants my muffin. With the lemon curd on it. If I turn my back for half a second, he’s nailed that muffin. Gone. He looks utterly innocent.

“What muffin? Me? I didn’t eat your muffin. Prove it. Show me the evidence.”

Not a crumb remains on his snout.

Drinking coffee in the morning is one part coffee, two parts fending off The Duke. I let him have the crumbs left on the plate few as they are. That level of loyalty surely deserves at least the crumbs — and anyway, he has probably swiped half of it while I wasn’t looking. He is very fast.

27 thoughts on “MORNING COFFEE AND TOP OF THE WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Duke may be whacko but he obviously has a strong pack instinct to keep an eye on everyone. I can never get used to pets getting old, Cindy is doing well for twelve but I know that could change in a hurry. Tammy, our first dog, was going blind and deaf in her later years and we got Tessie a year before she died as a sort of transition dog, Tammy was 15 by then. I noticed that when we went to the beach if Tammy did not hear me calling her to come Tessie would run back to her which I thought was sweet.
    Hot humid weather is awful, that’s how I felt the whole time we were in Singapore. It was just too hot to enjoy doing anything even at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Their eyes go fast. Bonnie’s have gone faster because of the whole dry eye issue, but the cataracts show up regardless. It’s one of the ways you know the age of a dog. We have been through this many times before, but it never gets ANY easier.

      It’s cool today and probably will be tomorrow, but the heat is on the way back, too.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love how Duke watches out for Bonnie. My cats were like that. Little 6-week old Parker became caregiver for 11-year old Teemu. He had seizures and till the very end, whenever he came in the room, Parker would stop what she was doing and run over to walk along side of him. They just know, don’t they? Duke is a sweetie. Give him another muffin….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “For her age.” Yeah, I hate when people tell me that I look great for a man my age. I would appreciate it more if they stopped at the word “great.”

    Our dog is 13, has cataracts, and can’t walk as long or as far as she used to. As a result, my daily steps are down from between 11-12,000 to the 8,500-10,000 range. But I’m getting old, too, so I guess that’s to be expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie is 11 and if she wasn’t going blind, she’s would be in pretty good shape. She’s still active and lively and cute. But the eyes go first. Those cataracts are one of the first signs of age in a dog.

      They really should just stop at “great.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango, I hear you about that “…you look great for your age”. Makes me wince inside. Would that it not even be a conversation piece.
      And, as for helping the furries navigate stairs, I hear myself groaning. Oh, the misery!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s the blindness that does us in, isn’t it. You can’t really restrict them but you do watch. Lucky you have The Duke to be her eyes. And it’s always a reminder that we ain’t gettin’ any younger either.

    It’s good they all get along that well. I love the bond that comes out of groups like that. That old herd instinct crosses a lot of boundaries…

    Liked by 1 person

    • To a point, this will be okay, but Garry isn’t up to carrying Bonnie up and down the stairs, so when she can’t, we can’t either. Hopefully, we’ve got a couple of years to go. The problem is, we live in a house where you have to go up or down to get in or out. That’s the way these houses are built. But at least her back is okay so if she can follow her nose, she will be okay. We will have to go outside with her in the winter because snow confuses their noses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, now that I’m more aware of Bonnie’s vision problems with the stairs, I try to be gentler in shooing her outside. I even get in front of her to make sure she doesn’t miss a step. She goes down the stairs in “sidesaddle” fashion. Quite cute.


  5. I wish I could get Ani a friend like Duke… I’m sure it would be easier on my ball-throwing arm as well as keeping her fit. She does not ome from long-lived breeds and at seven and a half, she is getting on a bit. Not that you would notice ( apart from the back end getting a bit stiff…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bishop was like that. He was as lively as a puppy until one day, he couldn’t walk down the stairs. The arthritis took over pretty much overnight. He was 12. We nursed him along for another couple of years, but one day, he woke up too sick to digest food and we knew it was over. I hate when they get old.

      A younger dog might help or might not. We got lucky that Duke and Bonnie bonded well, but it could have gone the other way, too. You just never know.

      Liked by 1 person

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