But that wasn't good enough for Freddie. The whining and imploring eyes wore me down. And once he'd bounded onto the bed, he was there for good. The linens are a bit worse for wear, and I don't much care.
I became frankly crazy about this now-mellow elderly mutt. Is it because I no longer worry that he'll put his teeth into someone's leg? Could it be that our physical proximity during our most vulnerable moments -- when we're asleep -- binds us in some primal way?
He's now seventeen and somewhat infirm. He recently experienced mobility problems and I feared we'd lose him, surprising myself with how worried I became. He was treated for Lyme Disease, and he's actually a bit frisky again.
I know of some contentious marriages that suddenly shifted when one spouse became ill. A husband who'd been distant became his ailing wife's advocate and thoughtful caregiver. There he was, washing his wife's hair, shepherding her to doctor's appointments.
Is it possible that people -- and other animals as well -- become both more loveable and loving when they need help? When my kids were little, I experienced an almost overwhelming surge of love for them when they were sick, holding them in my arms during feverish episodes. Ordinarily, they'd allow only so much cuddling before jumping from my lap and returning to play. But when they were under the weather, they'd allow me to hug and kiss them as much as I wanted.