Today I watched our old girl, Angel, experience a moment of joy and remembrance.
After helping her off the deck and onto the lawn to do her biz, the poor thing (nearly blind and deaf) stumbled about in her Mr. Magoo way and got a bit disoriented. These days she tends to veer to the left for some reason, something like a shopping cart with squirrely front wheels, and you have to constantly steer her back in the right direction.
But today I watched as Angel wandered into a section of the lawn beyond her usual restroom area. It was 104 degrees and unbeknownst to her, she was headed straight for the little sprinkler I'd set out there awhile earlier. And we're talking Labrador Retriever, a water dog who in her younger days, would shoot out the back door of our former house with pool, and make a beeline for that pool three times a day. Where she would proceed to do laps like Michael Phelps and have the time of her life. She used to adore the water and I know she's missed that pool since we moved from there almost six years ago.
So when she found herself under the sprinkler, she flinched initially, not quite sure what these drops were all about. Then she realized, hey this is water ... if I just stand here I can get drenched. Like back in the day. Then she began to practically hop around ... in an arthritic way, but still. She opened her mouth and lapped at the droplets. She stuck her face in the sprinkler, then stood directly over it and let it spray her belly. She shook (sort of) and went back in for more.
My heart swelled as I saw how happy Angel was, to feel this cool water soothe her ancient body and for just a few minutes, I really think she remembered her playful, youthful days ... when her body was agile and pain-free, life was joyful, and her days consisted of way more than sleep, poop, and a bowl of senior dog chow laced with meds.
She'd found her way to her own little fountain of youth, if only briefly. She drank it in and soaked it up ... and today was a day worth living.
(These beautiful words seemed meant for the description of my blog, and when I added a portion of this poem to the header, it didn't leave me room for Dawna Markova's full name. I want to be sure that my readers know that she wrote these inspiring words.)