John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for September 4, 2021

MY BEST FRIEND REGGIE

It's 11:30 am on a Saturday Morning on what will be the last day (out of 3) for beautiful weather, temps under 80, dew points in the 50's and a few clouds with gentle breezes. Tomorrow starts the climb back up toward Hazy, Hot and Humid conditions - for at least four to five straight days. Darn it!

I am up in my office on the 2nd floor of my house with the windows open and that breeze coming through. Reggie is lying on the floor next to me, snoring. That seems to be all Reggie can do now, other than pee, poop and drinking water. His eating habits are getting less and less. We have to fight with him at times to get him to eat. His real hang up is that he doesn't want the same thing that he ate the previous meal. Not only that, Janice and I are playing hit and miss between chicken, beef, ground beef (hamburger), turkey and we throw in a little pasta with cheese or just plan cheese and on occasion he eats French fries. Most of the meat products are "people" food for he has gotten to where he won't any dog food, be it hard food from a bag, or canned soft food.

As you may know, Reggie is almost 15 and a half years old and the average life span for a Bishon is 14 to 15. The time is getting close. It is killing me. As I sit here typing these words I am shedding tears. You see, Reggie is my best friend. Before he became my best friend he was a good buddy for Princess was my best friend. She was with me long before Reggie came into the family. In fact, Reggie was Janice's pet before he became mine. He was slow and deliberate in turning any interest in my direction. When he did, he was content being the second fiddle, for he knew Princess was my closest. On the day that she died, there was some sort of comradery or close encounter as if she were conveying to him that she wanted him to take good care of me as she was about to leave. I think he got the message for he has stuck ever so close to me since. That was five years ago come the 16th of this month.

These have been five tremendously good years, but in the last three to four months, his eyes have gone from dense cataracts to near complete blindness. His hearing is starting to go. His sense of direction is getting dull and he is becoming more and more dependent on me to get him outside to do his business. He has gotten very slow in his climbing of steps and, in fact, it is becoming dangerous.

Speaking of stairs, for some reason, over the last five or six weeks, he has been sneaking off out of the kitchen after eating little food and climbing the stairs to go to my office where he has a large towel made into a blanket that he moves and pushes about to fix in a position to get comfortable. He loves my office. In fact, he sleeps where Princess used to when she was alive, for Princess just wanted to be with me anywhere I went and often it was in my office at home. Although she never went in there when I wasn't present, Reggie is constantly going out of his way to get to the office so he can sleep. He sleeps so much these days.

This blog is so hard to write today. My mind has turned to morbid things for some reason. Maybe it was because I heard a song this morning that reminded me of when my two boys were around 8 and 10 and was popular enough to be played so much in the summer and fall of 1989. it was a time following my leaving Ocean View Church of Christ and, for awhile, the ministry as a whole. I felt directionless and although I was working for WTAR and WLTY (sister radio stations in Norfolk), I found myself out of the ministry for the first time in twelve years. I could travel over a weekend and not miss church. It was a weird feeling too! I took Bobby and Brad to Tennessee to visit their grandparents and along the ride we heard this song, Toy Soldiers by Martika at least four times! - Different radio stations, of course, as we rode from Norfolk through Richmond, past Charlottesville, down past Roanoke, Virginia and into Tennessee, past Knoxville and to Chattanooga where Grandpa Bob and Grandma Suzie lived. So past those seven markets it played those four times. I don't remember any other song playing that many times during the trip, but this one stuck out.

Hearing Toy Soldiers made me think of that trip and the good time we had along the way. By the time it played for the third or fourth time, they were singing it like the woman singing it, for their voices had not changed yet, puberty was a couple of years off. Hearing that song made me miss them, in their childhood years. Then, I realize that sometime around the corner I will hear a song or see a spot or location that will remind me of Reggie. I have a feeling that the song will be this piano piece that plays a lot when we sit outside or on the couch together that is called Longing and played by Owen Richards. There are no words, just a soft piano tune that give me the picture of Reggie laying in my lap or next to me. I also have a feeling that the place where I will frequent that will remind me of him is my home office. I will look down to my right, next to the bookcases against which he lays now and think of him.

Janice has said there will be no more dogs as she is tired of picking up and cleaning up after them. With Princess it was her fur for as a Sheltie she would shed a lot, Shelties have two coats of long hair and the undercoat was always turning loose. With Reggie, especially lately, it has been his peeing due to loose bladder control. He also has something along the line of a hiatal hernia which causes him to throw up water if he drinks a lot at one time. At least he is drinking and peeing, right?

If there is never going to be another pet in the house (we do have two cats, one is Janice's and the other, a twin sister, is mine. But cats are really different and can't buddy up to humans the way a dog does), then I am going to be one lonely man in this house, especially during those times Janice is at work. You see, the way I experience the love of a dog and his companionship is that they do not and will not pass judgment on me for my stupidity or sins. I make a mistake, or say a wrong this or have a wrong attitude about something, Reggie just stands by and silently gets me through whatever is ailing me. Humans can do that, but there is a limit to how much they will sacrifice. And in my situation, I don't even try to burden Janice with the many things that try my soul. Reggie, and Princess before him, seemed to instinctively know something about what was hurting me or plucking my nerves and they just stood there beside me until it went away.

I don't tell Janice about half of what troubles me. She has her own troubles. One of which is her fear that she is experiencing macular degeneration in her left eye. On top of that she has some hearing loss in her left ear. All three of her brothers use hearing aids and now she will have to have one for her left ear. She hears perfectly well with her right. Her oldest brother has macular degeneration in his left eye and glaucoma in the other eye. Her mother suffered from glaucoma too. She has found out she needs to loose at least 20 pounds and has to seriously change her diet to the place she worries about whether I can adapt to the changes in her diet and like the food she will have to cook and consume. She really shouldn't have to worry about that. If I can't eat it, then she has no problem with me fixing something else or going out and getting something else to eat.

Janice has issues other than her health. I happen to know she is concerned about her children and grandchildren, more than just the normal concern a mother has for her grown kids. She can't grasp the fact that boys leave the home - never to return, unless they fall on hard times and are single. Girls stay close to home and become natural caregivers. I have no daughters and she doesn't either. My two boys live 600 and 725 miles away in different directions and although hers live within five miles of us, they are busy with their own lives. Janice doesn't see caregivers with any of her three sons, although Matt may be the closest - if he remains single (three divorces may keep him from getting married a fourth time, but who knows). As for my two kids, well, let's just say my oldest will be taking care of his mother-in-law and sister-in-law sometime down the track, for his sister-in-law is 18 years older than Bobby, almost totally deaf and although she can get around, she has other ailments that Bobby's wife, Emily, is so concerned about and she has dedicated herself to taking care of her when that time comes. Her mother, who is three years older than I, gets around easy and has very few ailments, but, you know, when age creeps up on you, things happen and if her boyfriend, with whom she has lived for ten years and is considerably older, becomes incapacitated or passed, well, Emily will be their/her caregiver. Their house will be full and busy. Brad is single now, but down the road he may marry, may have another child and become overly preoccupied with his family that taking care of his old man isn't in the cards.

Now, why I am thinking about these things is really unexplainable. I guess I am in one of those "Late-summer/early-autumn" moods where I can only think about my glass as being mostly empty. I'll get it past half-full in late October. I always do. But right now, I am thinking of Reggie and how I can help him with these last days. I love that dog. And he is my best friend because he knows my deepest and darkest secrets and has not turned on me one bit. It's as if he is carrying my burdens for me, but his poor old and aching back can't carry them any longer. It has been said that man's best friend is his dog. It's true! Janice is my wife and very good and dear friend. But Reggie is my buddy, my pal, my travelling companion, my office mate, my best friend.

Reggie, when he have to leave me, there will be this great big hole in my heart and it will have to stay that way, because you are the best and there can be no other to come along and fill it. Mama is right. We can't get another doggie, for there is no other one out there that can come close to being the best friend you are. So why try?

Damn! I am really sad today. And tomorrow is Sunday ...

Blog for September 3 Blog for September 5

Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.