Lent, Day 19: for my Dog’s Old Age


Travis found this young husky sitting on a rock about eight years ago, and he lured that big wolf-dog to his car with an orange.

Now, Sam is getting old. I’ve written about him before, about the way he knows what’s going on in our lives, the way he snuggles close to us and in ways I don’t understand, maybe teaches us a little bit about love and God.

And so now I can see the signs, and I sat with him the other day and I cried, thinking that sooner than later he may not be with me.

It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a pet age like this, the first time I will have to see this creature I love get old and eventually pass away into quiet.

We’ve all faced death in some capacity, I think, but during Lent, it’s different.

During Lent, we walk in a slow and steady shadow, and we walk toward the cross.

We know what’s on the other side, but on this side it’s a bit gloomier.

On this side, we think about what we lose, we think about the way Christ was grieving and processing his near future, his near death.

So I watch this husky dog get a little older and a little more tired and I ache for him.

I lean down and I pet his white and black fur and watch his brown and blue eyes flicker and look at me as if to say, “I love you, too, you know.”

And so we walk in Lent and remember its heaviness, and we walk with each other and try to love a little better while there’s time, while the days give us space to remember that we belong to the people around us, and that our duty is to love and forgive and be kind.

All these lessons from an old, wise wolf-dog, and I’ll take every lesson he gives me until his dying day.

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