Earlier this week, I needed to go to our hospice volunteer meeting and I was happy because the timing meant that I’d be able to take one of the girls with me. It’s rare that I go without Bunny, and I’ve taken Flattery a couple of times to start getting her used to going and for them to get a chance to meet her. When I go without Bunny, though, everyone asks about her and there are usually a couple of very concerned faces. This week, I’d been contemplating taking Flattery again, but she was being, to be quite frank, a bit of a jerk that day and so I loaded an old friend into the car and off we went.
As soon as we walked in, everyone smiled at Bunny. Clearly, her arrival was more important than mine, which is fine with me. Several people tried to lure her over for petting and she was more than happy to oblige. It gave me a minute to set down my things, shrug out of my coat and unroll her travel bed. The meeting itself was pretty normal. Bunny spent most of it napping on the travel bed with the occasional break to go socialize with the man sitting beside us, one of her particularly favorite volunteers. I suspect it’s because he plays guitar and has magic scratching fingers, but she’s not telling.
There is something so comforting about going out with Bunny. I know what to expect from her and there are rarely any surprises. She knows what to expect from me, too. Whether we’re curled up together on the couch or out on a hiking adventure, being with Bunny always feels cozy and comfortable. She truly is an old friend and I love this point in our relationship. I think a lot of senior dog owners out there can relate.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having adventurous outings with Flattery, too. She’s just a different sort of experience. One day, she will be the old friend and we’ll anticipate each other the way Bunny and I do. Taking her along with Bunny adds an extra dose of fun, too. It’s possible that she’ll always be a bit of a wild card, and I’m okay with that if that’s how it’s meant to be. I still think we’ll have a comfortable understanding, though.
I know that everyone loves their dogs in the puppy stage when the world is new and even a leaf blowing by is an adventure, even if the dog we get isn’t an actual puppy. It’s a bit like that first blush of romance when you first meet a special someone. There’s a thrill there, and it’s good for us, but it doesn’t last. That comfortable stage of life is just as good for us, for different reasons. We need that puppy stage to fall in love with our new dogs so that we can get to the good part where we stick together through rainy days and the slowing down that comes with old age.
It was nice having a little special time with my special girl, even though we didn’t do anything terribly exciting. I love that she’s as happy to take a drive to a meeting with me and stop for puppucinos later as she is to go off on a big road trip or hike. It’s nice to have someone around who just wants to be with you, whatever you do.