A friend in the city, we'll call him Chuck, crushed my heart. No, his friend did.
He has a 13 year-old golden retriever who is . . . 13 years-old (how long is that in dog years?).
He and his wife cannot be away from their house for more than 4 hours because Sophie, their golden retriever, may have trouble. They live in New York, and both have full-time jobs. I had dinner at their house tonight.
Chuck said, "She hates hardwood floors" as he walked over to Sophie where she was straining to stand up but was poised in a military, crawl position -- her fore legs out-stretched and hind legs folded. She was whining. She needed help. Her hind legs weren't doing what she wanted them to do. Chuck walked over and lifted her by her back hips. Once her legs were underneath her, she began panting and wagging her tail, happy to be up and around.
Sometimes when he takes her out to shit, she'll stand gawking at nothing, looking around and consuming the world as if she were a human infant taking in her surroundings for the first time. Chuck yells, "Come on, Sophie! I gotta catch a train." But Sophie is old and can't hear.
Tonight as Chuck carried our after-dinner-coffee to the table, he accidentally spilled some coffee on Sophie. Sophie turned to look at her back to see what happened. She didn't flinch other than that. I don't think she could feel the actual heat of the fresh coffee. Chuck didn't even know he had done it until Mrs. Okie and I pointed it out to him.
He apologized to Sophie profusely. Sophie sat at his feet underneath the kitchen table, neglecting her much needed rest of an elder dog, and listened to us talk late into evening.
Man's best friend is a horrible understatement.