The Elder Statesman

You already know that I am the mother of a ten-year-old Corgi named Maggie. But we also have a family dog—Wayne, also a Corgi. You didn’t read his name wrong. His name is actually Wayne. The name is courtesy of my middle sister, Sarah, which really explains some things.

When I got Maggie, the breeder said that though Wayne was older, when she grew up, my dog would rule the roost. He said females are just more dominant. Dad said that was just like people. And there was a huge eye roll, probably, and an Oh please from Mom.

But what Bill, the breeder, said is completely true. Of the two dogs, Maggie is definitely in charge. As they got older, Wayne spent more and more time sunning himself in the Southern California sunshine. Coincidence? I think not.

Wayne is now thirteen. He is now thirteen and a half, actually. My jaw drops whenever I see this saint of a dog. He is now elderly. When I look at him now I see a dog who limps and is extremely slow moving because of a bad foot.

I can hardly talk about it, but when he is in doggie heaven I hope I remember him as the rambunctious little puppy amusing himself by tossing pebbles to himself, not a deaf dog who has a hard time walking. He is my daily reminder that time marches on. That, and what unconditional love looks like: Maybe not perfect, but just right.

Wayne.

Wayne.

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