Photography

Captured: Letting my sleeping dog lie

Letting my sleeping dog lie

This is Gracie, about whom I’ve written before. She was fully grown when she came into my life as a stray 13 years ago, and now I wonder how much longer she’ll be with me. She sleeps a lot these days, hard and deep. Her hearing is going – she can’t hear my voice anymore, so I clap to call her in from the back yard. Sometimes she doesn’t have any interest in her dinner.

I didn’t want her when we got her. We already had two dogs and I forget how many cats. But now I’m so glad I have her, now that “we” is just she and I. She’s always thrilled to see me when I come home, always happy to snooze nearby when I’m doing what I do around the house, and always ready to go for a walk or ride along on a road trip. She plays the dog role well, and despite myself I have fallen hard for it.

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27 thoughts on “Captured: Letting my sleeping dog lie

  1. Dani says:

    Jim-
    Gracie is so precious. Our four-legged friends sometimes gives us things that cannot be found in humans.
    Peace ~ Dani

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  2. Janet Chlebek says:

    Gracie is a precious dog friend, I’m so glad she has been a loyal friend that is always there for you. As you might know I lost my dog friend a while back, but the weeks leading up to her passing, God prepared me, somehow I knew I had a very limited time with her, so I gave her lots of hugs and kisses and I am grateful I did.

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  3. It is a cliche to call the dog, the man’s best friend, but I find no other better way to describe it. I used to like dogs, but from a distance. Then two of the species, one whom we named Lucy and another we called Tommy barged into our lives and enriched our lives for many years. Many years after they have left us, people are still wary while approaching our house.

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    • There have only been a few years in my life when I didn’t have a dog. As a child, we had a hunting dog named Buck Buck, then a beagle named George, then a Labrador retriever named Missy. My ex-wife and I had several dogs — a Sheltie named Shelly, a Vizsla named Abbey, a Rottweiler named Sugar, and of course Gracie pictured above.

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  4. Lone Primate says:

    I love rescued pet stories. :) Gracie’s pretty easy on the eyes, too — a wonderful candid moment in that image that you will cherish now and forever. I can sympathize with your feelings… one of my cats is 13 this summer and though she seems in fine health, I can’t forget that I lost my previous cat at age 13 (her, not me). It does tend to prey on your mind. But then I remind myself: keep it good for as long as possible, and enjoy it. Never stop building warm memories.

    I grew up with dogs and I’d love to have one again… but living in an apartment and being basically lazy, I know it’s a bad idea. :) Cats work great for me; they take care of nearly everything themselves and the three I have are extremely affectionate. The male, Max, is extremely doglike in disposition, and even meets me at the door and following me from room to room.

    As for dogs being humanity’s best friend, I find that unquestionable. I’ve read a number of studies that demonstrate that they understand us far better than even more closely related species; in fact, better than any other species, period. For instance, dogs understand what you mean when you point and will follow your finger or even your gaze to what you’re indicating. Chimpanzees can’t even do this. To be able to do this, dogs have to be able to recognize other beings as intelligent agents with intentionality, and recognize something that they themselves can’t do as a form of communication intended for them, and then work out what it means, and an appropriate response. That’s an incredible feat of cognitive power when you don’t take it for granted and really consider it.

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    • Heh, LP, I once had a chocolate-point Siamese cat named Max who greeted me at the door and followed me around the house! He and I were buddies, and I still miss him.

      I think what you cite about how dogs can read us is a big part of why we like them. We recognize their responses as a sort of closeness.

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  5. What a sweetheart! It sounds like you and Gracie are fortunate to have found each other. Last July I had to put my cat down after 14 years and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to get a new cat. I miss her, and I’m so grateful for her loyal friendship all those years.

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    • Hi Holly! Yes, Gracie’s been good for me, and me for her, despite the fact that our relationship began with me not wanting her and her being frightened to death of me (and all men because of her abuse history).

      It certainly can be difficult to think of getting a new pet after one passes.

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  6. ryoko861 says:

    Just teared up. It’s hard watching a beloved pet grow old. Especially a dog like Gracie! You’ve given her a good life. And she’s grateful for it!

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