Over the 53 years of our lives together, we’ve had countless dogs – from Beagles to Goldens, to Brittanys, mutts and this one – a Lewellyn Setter. Gage is now ten years old and is finally warming up to us.
I guess part of the reason it’s taken so long, is that the last ten years have been filled with a series of health issues for my man of many hats. Right after we got Gage as a puppy, Paul was coming down the stairs, getting ready to do a reenactment and Gage caused him to take a fall. This resulted in a tear in his bicep which required surgery and a fairly long time of recovery.
Not long after that incident, Paul was diagnosed with Cancer and had to endure several weeks of radiation treatment, Almost two years ago, he was hit with a minor stroke, that took away some of his strength. The culmination of these things may have accounted for Gage’s trepidation. He;s a very sensitive dog and seems to pick up on things – especially when they affect us. He has kept his distance during these times. Every dog we’ve owned has shown unconditional love, but Gage was different. He seemed to feel like he was in the way at times and preferred to be alone.
Having lived in the city as a young boy, Paul never knew the joy of having a dog. The only pet he had was a caged parakeet. So, when we married, one of the first things we did was purchase a dog. Each one has befriended Paul immediately, so when Gage wasn’t responding as our other dogs had, it saddened him.
He’s had to go through the death of several of our dogs. He buried some of them. Took the long drive to the vet when one needed to be put down. When our last Golden Retriever passed away while resting his head on my lap, Paul carried his lifeless body to the vet the next day.
These wonderful creatures can become a part of the family and work their ways into our hearts. I’m sure they’ll all be waiting to greet us as we enter heaven. Some believe that there won’t be animals in heaven, but I think all the things we grow to treasure here on earth will be available to us there too, but in an even more special way.
Gage has grown to love Paul especially in the last year. He enjoys his time outside with him at the end of the day. Even though he’s beginning to show his age, just like us, he seems to feel connected now. His smile reveals just how much he loves Paul. So do I.