My deaf, blind dog woke me up early this morning. She wakes me up early every morning, though lately it’s not as early as it was this past summer when she couldn’t sense the difference between 1:30 am and 5 am. There’s a chance that once she’s awake she’ll just wander around the room a bit and then go back to sleep. But there’s an equal or greater chance that she’ll find a corner of the room and pee on my wood floors that were never intended to be peed on. Because of this, from the moment I hear her tail smack into the wall as she shakes herself awake, I get up. I stumble down my long hallway and I let her outside, where she’ll wander around in the dark (she’s used to it) until she noses her way back to the door. Sometimes she’s gone for fifteen or more minutes and I wonder if she’s being eaten by a coyote or a large owl. I sit on the couch and try to hang on to the feeling of sleep and I wonder. Is she dead? I’ll be sad, but will I? Two years of diabetic, deaf, blind, increasingly hairless dog has almost wiped away all of the great memories I have of what a great dog she once was. Almost. And then a scratch at the door and she’s back and I’m relieved, but I’m no longer tired.
My son came home from college last night. He’s a junior and he’s doing as well as I could have hoped. He’s looking for an internship for next summer, and any finance related company in Chicago would be foolish to turn him down. Like criminally foolish. He’s smart, honest, diligent, and also handsome, on account of looking like me. He was asleep in his room when I walked down the hallway at 5:01 this morning, as was my daughter in her room. She’s a senior in high school this year, and she’s awash in college decisions and limitless potential intertwined with a slight touch of high school angst. As my blind dog slowly bumped down that hallway this morning it was obvious to me that mornings like these are numbered. My children will be out of that house soon. This dog will be buried in the back yard. Everything will be different.
And so for now, I’m thankful. I tell you about my business on this website and I don’t know if it’s obvious that I know this momentary success is fleeting. I know this won’t last. I know it’s a moment in time, and it just so happens to be a very visible part of my life that is subject to a seemingly equal dose of cheers and jeers. But the private side, that side that this November morning found two children who are nearly adults asleep in their childhood beds, that’s the side for which I’m most thankful.