September 24th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #978 'Our dog'

Reporter's Note: Some people have pointed out that President Obama looks like he is aging pretty rapidly in office. But in fairness, I think they’d say the same about me and I’m not dealing with that whole “leader of the free world” burden, so…

Dear Mr. President,

Our dog, Nola, is getting older. She’s not feeble, or anything like that, and she’s a Sheltie so even the term “older” is relative. They are an energetic breed with the kind of natural intelligence and curiosity that make them always seem a little puppyish.

But she is undeniably aging. She does not leap up quite so readily from the carpet anymore whenever someone else in the room rises. She eyeballs them for a moment to two, seemingly assessing whether they are going anywhere interesting…like say, the kitchen…and then, if she deems it worthwhile, she stands up, stretches deeply, and trots along. Otherwise, she stays put, with her muzzle resting on her paws and only her dark brown eyes following the action.

My wife thinks that Nola doesn’t hear so well anymore. We are in some disagreement about this. My opinion is that she just doesn’t want to listen as much. The dog, I mean, not my wife, although in fairness I suppose it would apply in both cases. I don’t blame either of them. Even a dog will learn after a few years that not everything one hears is worth listening to, and my wife…well, she’s heard me nattering for more than a quarter century now. She deserves a break.

I don’t like to think of our dog getting older, because she is such a lovely and nice animal. Her disposition is perfect: always cheerful, friendly to everyone she meets, and eager to please. Contrary to the old saw, she has no trouble learning new tricks despite her age. She recently discovered balloons, for example, and almost immediately grasped the idea of bouncing them back and forth with a playmate. And I could be wrong, but lately I think she’s been fiddling with the iPad.

I haven’t heard a peep about your dog in quite some time. What’s going on with that? Seems like there were so many headlines about Bo when he was coming into the family, but now he has disappeared into the woodwork. Kind of like Biden. Ha!

Anyway, that’s about it for a lazy Saturday. More tomorrow. Hope your weekend is going well. I’d tell you to call, but I think I’m either going to walk the dog, or take a nap, or take a nap with the dog.



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