About 16 years ago, my mother and grandparents moved back here from upstate NY, when Mom had gone with the company she worked for. Our #1 daughter had rescued a young dog–part border collie, by his looks–but didn’t have room for him. My grandfather LOVED border collies, so the dog had a home.

Grandpa, the most soft-spoken of men, could get even an animal he didn’t know to love and obey him. He and the dog, named Socks because of his white feet and ankles, bonded and were best buddies. When Granny died, “the guys” just got closer.

Grandpa and the dog lost health and mobility together. When Grandpa died, Socks became my mother’s dog. Not long after she lost Grandpa, Mom lost her cat, another rescue, who reached the ripe old age of (at least) 17 because Mom gave him insulin injections every day. He didn’t fall ill, he just wore out.

Now Socks has done the same thing. He had canine hepatitis and arthritis, but Mom kept him happy and relatively healthy for three years after he was given two days to live. She made him oatmeal for breakfast and chicken-vegetable soup for lunch, and found he would take his pills if she wrapped them in sharp–not mild–cheddar cheese.

Finally, yesterday, he wore out. She took him in to the vet and we said goodbye to a good old pal.

He sure wasn’t very lively towards the last, but we’ll both miss him incredibly.

I’ll write more about him another time.

MA

Writing exercise: A elderly parent has to have his/her pet put down. Tell about it from the POV of the parent’s grown children, one of whom loved the pet and one of whom hated it.

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