Our dog, Maggie, is losing her hearing. The vet couldn’t find any reason for this other than aging. It is sad to notice the things she doesn’t notice any more. Yet her sleep is deep and peaceful, no longer rousing at the slightest snippet of noise.
And this just makes us love her even more. We watch out for her a bit more carefully since she might miss a warning sound, we reach down to pet her more gently so as not to startle her, we take more time to snuggle with her after realizing she is getting older, just as we are.
There have been times in history and there are currently places in the world where older people (and animals) are cast aside in favor of someone younger, stronger, faster, more productive. We see it frequently in today’s work world and yes, from time to time, I saw it as an older teacher.
Shouldn’t we recognize the value of experience and appreciate the understanding that comes with time? Even in today’s fast changing world, couldn’t we find wisdom in those who have forged a path before we came along, and left a trail for the steps we are currently taking?
Well, Maggie, don’t you worry. We cherish you more now than we did six years ago when we adopted you as a five year old dog. And even though you can’t jump on the bed or run down the stairs anymore, we love you dearly. And we are sure we can help you understand how much we love you in other ways, whether you can hear us tell you or not.