When I first met my sister’s dog, Mouse, I didn’t like her. I think the feeling was mutual. She seemed to eye me malevolently. I secretly wondered if my sister had trained this small predator to take down her arch-nemesis – me.
I took my eyes off her for a few moments, and she hopped up on the couch beside me. I was talking away to my sister, when I heard a splashing sound. I reluctantly followed the strange sound to its source – little Mouse had decided to pee on the couch right beside me.
We locked eyes.
I moved as the dark patch of urine spread towards me.
She had won the battle. My sister was forced to clean up the mess. Maybe this dog wasn’t so bad after all, I mused.
Fast forward 15 years, and Mouse is still around. My sister moved, and she couldn’t take Mouse with her. My parents took her in and she brightened their household. She continues to do so even now. In fact, after my father passed away a little over a year ago, Mouse helped my mom get through the day. She’s told me on numerous occasions that if it weren’t for Mouse, she might not have gotten out of bed some days.
On Saturday, I worked the night shift. Rather than drive an hour home, I decided to catch a nap at my mom’s. Mouse greeted me at the door. It’s obvious that she’s aging; she’s lost a lot of weight, she can no longer navigate the stairs, she has lumps all over and she’s losing control of her bladder. My mom must now put diapers on her because she ‘leaks’.
However, she’s still rather spry and she greets me enthusiastically at the door. I bend down and pet her. I converse with my mother awhile, while absently petting Mouse. When I’m too exhausted to continue talking (a feat not often achieved) I gently lift Mouse and carry her up the stairs and place her on the guest bed. She curls up beside me, puts her head on my chest and promptly falls asleep.
About an hour later, I rolled over and felt something wet on my forearm. I’m used to sleeping with my dog, Dexter, so in my fuddled state, I decided the wet was nothing to worry about. Dexter had probably been licking the bed spread again.
Wait a second, I thought…I wasn’t at home. I wasn’t sleeping beside my 1 year old puppy, but beside a dog that is practically a trillion years old in dog years. I figured I’d better investigate.
Sure enough, there was a puddle of urine on the bed beside me. My arm had been resting in it. Mouse had managed to achieve in her old age, what she hadn’t in her puppy years – she’d termi-urinated me.
I looked down and there she was snuggled up to my legs, fast asleep. I’m not even sure she knew what she’d done.
Instead of my sister, my mom had to clean it up. I took Mouse and slept in the other available bed.
Maybe she’s not a bad dog, after all.
Or maybe…she’s one of the cutest, loving, most loyal dogs to ever grace our family with her presence. While she lives, she will continue to brighten up my moms life.
Here’s looking at you, Mouse.