old dog pacing

It’s bedtime, but no one sleeps. Fred is out of town on business, so the young hound dog and I sprawl across the big bed in the warmth of a summer night. In and out of the bedroom, Shelby, the old dog, paces.

She’s worn a track in the carpet for the past hour, varying her steps occasionally, trying to settle, then springing back up just as I thought we might finally drift off for the night.

Is she nervous, in pain or just senile at age fifteen? I don’t see any sign of pain, nor does the vet, but we’ll do blood work next week in case there’s something we can’t see.

She doesn’t hear much. Jack, the hound, hears for her, and tells her when it’s meal or walk time. When he folds his ears back, bounces around and licks at her face, she knows something good awaits.

But tonight she paces.

I want to calm her, to hold her and comfort her. But something in her will not be comforted until she’s walked the demons away.

Only then, we rest.

(Click on any image to enlarge and launch slideshow):

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