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Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Woman’s Best Friend is Her Dog

By Flora Davis

Until recently, I would have said a woman’s best friend is her computer, not her dog, because a computer has some definite advantages. You don’t have to walk it three times a day. There aren’t any vet bills to pay. It doesn’t stare at you reproachfully if you leave it alone for an hour or so and if you accidentally drop its leash outdoors, it doesn’t head for the hills.

In other words, it’s there for you.

A couple of things have happened lately that have changed my mind. I would now list my dog as my very best friend and the computer isn’t even a close second.

The first mind-altering event occurred when I was out after dark walking my dog, Korku. We were having a dispute. I wanted to cross the road so I was pulling in that direction while Korku, who had found something he wanted to sniff, was pulling in the other.

I started to step up onto the curb on the far side of the road but I didn’t lift my foot high enough. My toe caught on the concrete and I sprawled across the sidewalk making a three-point landing on my knees and my forehead.

I yelled and then began to whimper. My head and knees hurt like mad and the fall had knocked the wind out of me. I thought I might have broken my glasses but then I realized there was something else that was a more immediate worry: I’d dropped the dog’s leash.

Pushing myself up onto my battered knees, I turned around and there was Korku, standing close behind me looking anxious.

All his life, any time he’d found himself free, he had run away but this time he didn’t. I don’t know what I would have done if he’d run. I was in no shape to track him in the dark through the woods across the way.

Nobody ever had a better dog.

The second event that taught me who my friends are happened about a day later. I was sitting at my computer trying to ignore the swelling on my forehead and my two black eyes when a message popped up on the screen. It reported a problem with my device driver (whatever that is), which had developed an infinite loop. Please reboot.

I complied with the instructions and the computer did its best but then it up and died on me. I hadn’t done anything illegal, as we used to say in computereze. I hadn’t made a fatal error, yet there I was, staring at the black screen of death.

I called my computer guru and described what had happened. He suggested last rites and offered to come and help me set up my late husband’s computer so that I could work on that.

Were my files backed up? Mostly, but I may have lost my address book, my datebook, my checkbook records and my online bookmarks.

In the end, I’ve drawn the only possible conclusion: a woman’s best friend is definitely not her computer.

It’s her dog.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Good story. I did much the same,
walking our Dalmation, I fell on a sidewalk crack, couldn't get up and the dog stayed right beside me..love the animals!

I don't know what I'd do without my 10-year-old chocolate lab, Maya. (though I'm afraid I'm going to find out in a few years, since labs are not particularly long-lived.)
She's been with me through the anguished years of my husband's Alzheimer's,through his death and my brothers' deaths, through the 2 unhappy years I lived with my daughter, and now as my faithful buddy in new digs in Florida.
I can replace my computer, but nothing will replace Maya.

My computer is a nag, tempting me to answer e-mails and dump crap. Now with a blood-clot the whole length of my bum leg, my cat, Tutie, is not leaving my side as I lie with my leg higher than my head.

A spiritual friend told me long ago how one transmutes our difficulties to our pets and they take on the burdens with us.

There's nothing like the soft eyes of pets just inches from our faces!

Computers can be infuriating in a way that dogs or cats never are. And--as you say--dogs can be so caring and comforting.

I've often read that it's good for people of any age to have a dog. The owner needs to take her dog for walks in all sorts of weather. The walks are essential for the dog and very good for the person.

I loved the way you told your story...interesting and so well written. I have a dear friend who just lost her dog, Boston, to pneumonia and her other dog, Terri doesn't know what to do. And my friend is having a very difficult time adjusting. I feel so sad for my friend and Terri. I hope you have recovered from your injuries.

Oh, how I appreciate my wonderful companion, Jude, a smooth collie. Today, while out for walk, a woman stopped to tell me she noticed that Jude and I were enjoying talking together. Jude knows quite a number of words but more than that, she tells me so much with her eyes & much body language - how joyful she is when someone pets her, when someone talks with me, when we have our conversations, when she meets up with one of her good dog or people pals, so many little things that bring her joy that she loves to "tell" me about with her expressive self. And then, often during the day when I'm doing other things , she comes up with those lovely eyes to touch base, and to say hello. Computers can't do that.

So glad you are going to be okay. Computers keep me linked to the world, but dogs keep me linked to the present. I'm not crazy about owning an animal, but grateful they love me enough to overlook that. Hope you are better soon.

Your story reminded me of the incident at the Bear River that my family visited regularly. Dad liked to pan for gold. I enjoyed looking at the worms attached to the rocks as the water washed over them. The river moved very fast and challenged my little sister, about seven years old. All I saw was our dog running into the river and immediately was carried away in the current. His jumping into the river caused me to see that my sister was about to lose her balance and fall in. So I grabbed her and got her to shore. Later the dog limped back after his ordeal of being pushed into rocks. We were so happy he survived his heroic action.

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