It’s all in the head . . . well, maybe some of it is in the heart.
I was trying to get some help with a little dog I found who was in the street without even enough street smarts to dodge cars. I stepped out in the street with her and waved my arms and got the cars to wait a damned minute! and got the dog safely to my yard. I ended up coaxing her into my house. She didn’t have on a collar, but it was clear to me that she was very loved. She was a fat, senior dog whose keen awareness of what I was doing was evident.
I went on the neighborhood listserve to try and find her owners. No one had reported her missing. I took her for a long walk up and down the whole street I live on. I had made a make shift collar by pulling the leash through the handle of a leash I had. I could not find an old collar, although I felt sure I had one. But on that long walk, at every path to a house, she’d charge in that direction, tail wagging, and I’d be sure that was her home. She did this at every house, but when I’d knock, the persons answering the doors said she wasn’t theirs and they had never seen her before. By the time I got back to my house, I was having to use my cane to walk.
But I digress. I went on the neighborhood listserve. Since no one had reported her missing, I tried to report her found. I saw one missing dog’s photo and I posted a reply that I had just found a dog that looked similar, but her legs were shorter. Had anyone lost her? That brought a deluge of “replies” and private messages from the woman who had posted that dog picture. Why was I posting that if I didn’t have that dog? Besides, that dog had been found and it was rehomed and doing fine, yak, yak, yak.
I replied that I was a Senior and just trying to help the dog I’d found. I was hoping someone would be looking for her. That comment brought even more abuse from the former poster. It seems that telling some people you’re a “senior” (senior citizen) drives them into a rage. I had hoped whoever lost the dog I had would go on the listserve and scroll through the lost and found section just as I did. Maybe they’d see my post?
I’ve also had people on the phone act angry when I have to have them repeat things and I mention “I’m a Senior”. They act like I’m trying to get special treatment when I’m actually trying to explain why I need it repeated. One of my pet peeves is people who say “Huh?”, no matter what you’ve just said. They have to have everything repeated and it appears to me that they’re just not listening . . . or perhaps they’re exhibiting signs of what they perceive as superiority as they force you to say everything twice. I read that explanation in a magazine once.
But I digress again. That’s part of being a senior. Some people like the little side stories I tell and I can tell by their eyes that others wish I’d just get to the point.
I tended to that dog overnight. We had a terrible storm and I put her in my bathroom. I have two dogs and they were not happy with the intruding lost dog, so I kept her separate from them.
The next morning I called Animal Control. (Did I mention I found her on a Sunday and Animal Control was closed?) Animal Control personnel said they could transport her to the county shelter in the next town, or I could take her myself. No, I could not take her myself. It was too far away for me to drive there and back after getting her out of the street, walking her, and comforting my big younger dog, who becomes a lap dog during thunderstorms, the night before. I asked if she’d be put to sleep if taken to the shelter. The Animal Control woman said she’d take her for me . . . I asked was that a death sentence? Hopefully not was the answer. They would hold her for 72 hours at least. If she was a friendly dog, she might get taken by a rescue group. It depended on how full the rescue was. I told her I’d keep the dog one more day at least and hung up. That bought the creature an extra 24 hours, in case I had to send her to the Shelter. I’m a Senior and I’m disabled and I could not keep her forever myself with my two other dogs. I know my limits.
I contacted a local rescue group and they were full, plus the dog had to have been lost ten days and kept elsewhere before they’d take it, and then they’d take it only if they had room for it.
I don’t always walk my own dogs because of my limitations. Some days are better than others. I was so tired the day after I found the little dog from walking all up and down my street, which is three blocks long . . . that I had trouble walking her. Still, I did and I walked my other dogs and then I had an afternoon four hour shift at my part-time job. Before I went to work, I took the lost dog to my vet, who places “Lost Dog” ads on his website and got him to scan for a microchip (none) and to take her picture for an ad. With no collar and no microchip. the animal control woman had told me it might be a “dumped” dog. After all, the animal shelter used to be just around the corner from my house. I felt like someone lost this dog and was looking for her. I was going to decide the next morning if I had to send her to a shelter, or if I could keep her 24 more hours?
I don’t tell people “I’m a Senior” to get special treatment like the ones who become enraged think I do. Why all the hostility towards older folks? No, I can’t play softball like I used to, and yes, I miss it. I can’t go on long walks. The traveling I’d hoped to do when I retired cannot be done. I shuffle through my life taking pleasure in feeding the birds who live in my yard and taking care of my pets . . . I enjoy writing and emailing. I’m not a big fan of the phone because it actually gives me a headache to talk on one. I think it comes from straining so hard to hear so I don’t have to ask the person to repeat what they said.
But my heart and my head are just fine. I have a lot of love to give and I have a lot of experiences to draw from.
I hope the next time I say, “I’m a Senior”, it lets the person I’m speaking with know I have limitations and I have a lot to offer. When they become hostile and act angry with my senior status . . . that’s one thing I don’t understand. Are they mad at me for still being alive? Some millennials post on facebook that they wish all the baby boomers would go ahead and die! Such hostility. What did we do to them? According to them, we ruined the country. Well, the country wasn’t in that great a shape when we inherited it. Each generation changes what they can to better serve them and each tries to leave it a little better for the next generation. Millennials don’t have to inhale others’ cigarette smoke as they try to enjoy an expensive restaurant meal. (You’re welcome.) And the air is cleaner than it was when I was young and no one cared how much exhaust fumes cars put out. (You’re welcome.) There is no more draft. You only serve in the military, if you choose to. (You’re welcome.)
We’re all on this planet together. Let’s give with our strengths and enjoy our time here.
The strengths of us seniors is our heads and our hearts.
The little dog’s owner saw the ad on my vet’s website and came by late yesterday to pick up “Molly”. That was her name. I was glad to see her go because I was exhausted, but I was also glad I hadn’t asked the Animal Control person to take her to the shelter. I used my head and my heart to help that dog. I used my legs to get her out of the street and to walk her while trying to find her owner.
Today I’m having to use my cane because of all the walking I did, but my head and my heart are still fine.